PARAMARIBO, Suriname – Approximately thirty troops from the South Dakota National Guard (SDNG) traveled to Suriname, South America to assist with college renovations and supply medical and dental companies in rural Suriname communities, April 18-May 3.
The mission was a part of the Suriname and South Dakota State Partnership Program offering precious coaching for each National Guard and Suriname Defense Force (SDF) personnel and aiding with significant group requirements for space residents. The partnership started in 2006, as a safety cooperation relationship. In the final 16 years, the SDNG has labored shoulder-to-shoulder with the SDF in quite a lot of humanitarian tasks and army coaching. Nearly a dozen exchanges happen annually.
“The partnership between Suriname Defense Force and the SDNG continues to develop robust and is seen within the collaboration for this occasion,” mentioned Maj. Melody Howell, bilateral affairs officer – Security Cooperation Office in Suriname. “Continued assist from NGB, SOUTHCOM, and the U.S. Embassy helps make occasions like this potential.”
A dozen SDNG troopers from the 842nd Engineer Company labored alongside roughly a dozen SDF engineers to renovate the Magenta Polder Elementary School close to the capital of Paramribo, together with rebuilding loos and wall sections, repairing doorways, locks, screens, and ceiling tiles, and changing all the lighting fixtures with LED fixtures. SDNG engineers discovered about totally different constructing challenges that we don’t face right here in South Dakota, akin to constructing within the Amazon jungle, termites and water harm.
Funding for the college repairs within the quantity of $15,000 was from the National Guard Bureau. An further $30,000 in humanitarian assist materials donations for ongoing renovations was provided by the Suriname Ministry of Education. All of the supplies have been bought in Suriname by way of the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Civil Assistance program.
In addition, 18 troopers from the SDNG 730th Area Support Medical Company, Medical Command and the 114th Medical Group labored with ten SDF medics to supply dental and medical companies to 2,011 residents of the jungle communities of Atjoni, Brownsweg and Brokopondo. Dentists pulled a complete of 1,207 enamel. Funding for the supplies and drugs totaled $45,000 by the National Guard Bureau.
“The biggest want was for the medical and dental care,” mentioned Lt. Col. Stephen E. Sewell III, State Partnership Program coordinator and challenge officer. “The engineering mission was excellent however for the medical and dental we had individuals touring up a river for three hours in a ship to come back see us and we have been seeing individuals who had by no means seen a dentist or a health care provider earlier than of their lives. It was completely unimaginable.”
Dental points have been the largest medical issues, in addition to, infections and cyst removals. Working alongside Suriname’s docs and dentists SDNG troops discovered simply as a lot, if no more from them as they discovered from us, mentioned Lt. Col. Sewell III.
“We have been very excited to see this challenge get funded and permitted,” mentioned Lt. Col. Sewell III. “The SDNG has confirmed as soon as once more that, if given assets, we’ll produce excellent outcomes. They are superb individuals, they’re very pleasant, the youngsters have been quite a lot of enjoyable and really nicely behaved. They are simply superb individuals. We actually had quite a lot of enjoyable working with them.”
“The biggest factor I introduced again from my expertise there was simply the appreciation for what we’ve right here at house, our entry to good dental and medical care that you simply don’t see world wide,” mentioned Lt. Col. Sewell III.