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Vermont National Guardsmen mobilized to Senegal Feb. 4-23 to work alongside Senegalese medical personnel to obtain real-world experience while providing valuable medical services as part of a medical readiness training exercise (MEDRETE). Vermont is paired with Senegal as part of the State Partnership Program, a joint Department of Defense program managed by the National Guard Bureau, guided by the State Department and executed by the state adjutants general to link a state’s National Guard with a partner nation’s military and security forces in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. The exercise presents an opportunity to build upon this relationship while also providing Soldiers training outside of the normal scope of operations.

“The focus (of MEDRETE 18-1) is supposed to be on resuscitative care, damage control surgery, trauma type surgery, military combat surgeries,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Bert Severin, a medic and the trip noncommissioned officer in charge with Joint Force Headquarters, Vermont National Guard. “Those are not elective. You have to wait for an accident or some kind of event before doing that surgery, so we’ve been doing their scheduled elective or necessary surgeries like prostate surgeries, hernia surgeries, myomectomies, and there was a cholecystectomy as well.”

The surgeries the Guardsmen are conducting provides an educational opportunity for the medics. They train to give trauma care and to deal with combat injuries. Some have never seen an operating room before or assisted with a surgery. Read more

Read also: Army general discusses security cooperation reform, National Security Strategy

Vermont National Guardsmen mobilized to Senegal Feb. 4-23 to work alongside Senegalese medical personnel to obtain real-world experience while providing valuable medical services as part of a medical readiness training exercise (MEDRETE). Vermont is paired with Senegal as part of the State Partnership Program, a joint Department of Defense program managed by the National Guard Bureau, guided by the State Department and executed by the state adjutants general to link a state’s National Guard with a partner nation’s military and security forces in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. The exercise presents an opportunity to build upon this relationship while also providing Soldiers training outside of the normal scope of operations.