Arkansas Air Guardsmen Provide Medical Care In Guatemala > Air Force > Article Display

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Arkansas Air National Guard members helped provide medical care in Guatemala alongside U.S. and foreign military, government, and civilian personnel during the Continuing Promise 2022 mission from October 26-31.


Senior Airman Tabari Matthews, 189th Dental Technician, assisted Canadian Army Capt. Cleve Kim, dentist, in planning treatment for 35 people Oct. 28.


“It’s great fun talking to other military forces,” Kim said. “I get to know them and understand how they work. It was an interesting and memorable experience.



“It was a great learning experience,” Matthews said. “Captain. Kim was very precise and it was interesting to work with him and the other dentists.

Kim also acknowledged some challenges that arise when working with foreign personnel.


“I have to convert the tooth numbering system I’m used to and use the American system,” Kim said. “So I slow down to make sure we’re communicating clearly with each other.”


Continuing Promise 2022 began with the departure of the United States Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) from Miami to the United States Southern Command area of ​​operations.


The Comfort visits Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti from October to December. During these mission stops, medical teams work with medical personnel from partner nations to provide care on board and at shore medical sites. The goal is to increase medical preparedness, strengthen partnerships, and improve the capabilities of the U.S. Navy and partner nations to respond to public health disasters and humanitarian crises.


Since 2007, Continuing Promise medical staff have treated more than 582,000 people and performed more than 7,000 surgeries.


The mission in Guatemala was supported by U.S. military personnel from Joint Task Force-Bravo, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Services, and the U.S. Agency for international development. Also part of the team are: non-federal entities, academic institutions and medical personnel from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Netherlands and from the United Kingdom.


Continuing Promise 2022 encourages partnerships between nations, non-federal entities and international organizations. The mission utilizes the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program with Guatemala to support security cooperation, interoperability, and humanitarian assistance with expeditionary medical care while increasing l readiness.


The Arkansas National Guard and Guatemala have been paired under the State Partnership Program for two decades.



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