By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter Ticich
Medical personnel from Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command in Rota, Spain provided medical treatment and training during exercise Obangame Express 2022 (OE 22), March 6-18, 2022.
This year, eight medical personnel participated across the five exercise zones in western Africa. In Senegal, the team shared critical care techniques to members of the Senegalese Navy aboard the Senegalese patrol ship, Fouladou.
“The partnerships that we have developed here at Obangame Express 2022 with foreign nations allow us to share important skills to countries that may not have the same medical infrastructure we have,” said Cmdr. Javier Agraz, senior medical officer for OE22. “By sharing what we know, we could potentially save a life.”
The team also managed a medical clinic at the Senegalese Naval Headquarters in Dakar, Senegal throughout the exercise.
“As the primary medical team during the exercise, our main priority is to provide patient care,” said Agraz. “We strive to make sure that service members stay healthy and are provided with proper treatment if needed.”
Hospital Corpsman (HM) 2nd Class Alexis Guerr and 3rd Class Mary Nyangenya also worked with Agraz in Dakar, Senegal. Unlike Agraz, this was Guerra and Nyangenya’s first time participating in a large-scale exercise.
“This experience is going to stick with me,” said Guerra. “The engagement I had training the Senegalese crew on the Fouladou was incredible. Being able to share knowledge with each other is rewarding.”
For Nyangenya, interacting with partners from many nations has been enriching.
“It’s been eye-opening,” said Nyangenya. “I have seen people from different countries come together to learn from each other.”
Sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), OE22 is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA), information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of participating nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.
The 32 nations participating this year include Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Togo, and the United States. Also participating will be the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.