NEWS | Aug. 5, 2019

US, Mongolia Share Airfield, Emergency Medical Expertise

By 2nd Lt. Joshua Thompson Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA -- The United States and Mongolian military leaders conducted airfield and emergency medical subject-matter expert exchanges to share cultural expertise, technical competency and vital training with Mongolian participants in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 22-26, 2019.

The air advisor and medical response exchanges were part of Pacific Angel (PAC ANGEL) 19-3, and combined humanitarian assistance engagement incorporating subject matter expert exchanges with medical outreach and civic engineering projects, led by U.S. Pacific Air Forces.

U.S. Air Force air advisors and Mongolian Air Force officers shared experiences and knowledge on an array of operational topics, to include humanitarian aid and disaster response procedures that incorporate the use of MI-17 helicopters, a transport helicopter often used by the Mongolian air force. Discussion topics also included runway and airfield maintenance, airspace classifications, ground-to-air signaling and flight notification procedures.

Lt. Col. D. Shatarragchaa, Mongolian air force State Division Department commander, coordinated and oversaw much of the exchange. He specifically noted some of the most valuable information the Mongolian officers gained from the week included learning to identify and select landing zones, and gaining more search and rescue methodology.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Hoover, 36th Contingency Response Support Squadron air advisor, explained U.S. Pacific Air Forces maintains contingency response forces ready to respond to emergency humanitarian assistance or disaster relief, "Air advisors go to our partner nations and we perform these exchanges and build partnerships, so when something like that happens, we already have those relationships established."

Simultaneously, in Bayongol Soum, Mongolia, community doctors, nurses and civilian volunteers took part in a trauma and mass casualty response training exercise.

Mongolian Armed Forces and U.S. Air Force medical personnel equipped the participants with vital knowledge and experience for first responders, ending the week with hands-on exercises to employ procedures learned throughout the week.

Initial injury assessment, burn treatment and tourniquet application were some of the first-responder skills demonstrated by the U.S.-Mongolian medical personnel before involving the participants for practice.

“We spent a lot of time teaching the volunteers how to handle a trauma in general and give basic care,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Joshua Cragun, 96th Medical Operations Squadron emergency medicine physician, noting the large number of volunteers who attended with minimal medical experience. "Since the region is so short staffed, our training was trying to provide an opportunity for the civilians and local volunteers to encounter a trauma and perform minimal care until they can be taken to a doctor or nurse."

For the rural areas surrounding Bayongol, equipping motivated citizens can be life-saving since formal medical care can sometimes be hours away.

Both the air operations and medical training, as part of Pacific Angel 2019, continue to deepen the long-standing partnership between Mongolian and U.S. forces, while building Mongolia’s capacity to respond to humanitarian need and natural disasters.

Pacific Angel 19-3 continues through August 5 with multilateral international Indo-Pacific participants working together to assist the local community and improve regional partner capabilities. PAC ANGELs have built positive relations through engagement such as these for the last decade in multiple countries throughout the Indo-Pacific region.