Airmen share knowledge with partner nation physicians in Guatemala

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By Tech. Sgt. Heather R. Redman, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs / Published August 05, 2014


Members from the Guatemalan air force, Arkansas Air National Guard, and 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) discuss their goals during a subject matter expert exchange Aug. 4, 2014, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Goals focused on educating the Guatemalan air force on individual readiness and establishing standards for flight medicine. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Heather R. Redman)

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (AFNS) --

Six Airmen are spending this week in Guatemala to facilitate a subject matter expert exchange with the Guatemalan air force focusing on preventative health, individual readiness and aerospace medicine.

Four Airmen from the Arkansas Air National Guard and two from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) are in the Central American country as part of an ongoing effort to assist the Guatemalan air force in expanding and enhancing their military medical capabilities.

On the first day, goals were set during an initial meeting with the director of the Guatemalan air force hospital, who expressed the priorities he wants to see develop from the exchange.

"We would like guidance on establishing and standardizing individual medical readiness standards and help developing an Aerospace Medical Program," said Col. Luis Salazar, the hospital director.

After the initial discussion with Salazar and other members of the medical team, the Airmen embarked on a tour of the hospital to learn more about their specific needs.

"We need to work on getting equipment," Salazar said. "We do not have the equipment to do hearing tests for the pilots or proper vision tests."

After learning some of the Guatemalan air force hospital's specific needs, the Airmen from AFSOUTH and the Arkansas ANG came together to develop a plan to help their counterparts achieve their goals.

"First we need to educate their medical team on medical standards, so that they have a set way of measuring everyone's readiness level," said Lt. Col. Paul Sherman, who serves with the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock AFB, Ark. "We also need to get more in-depth on their flight medicine program. The physicians need to be educated on the program itself, which includes equipment and aeromedical standards."

The team of Airmen will remain in Guatemala throughout the week as part of the SME exchange to continue educating their Guatemalan counterparts on individual readiness and establishing standards for flight medicine.

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