United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News

American Forces Press ServiceBookmark and Share

 News Article

New Mexico Guard Builds Relationship in Costa Rica

American Forces Press Service

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, April 24, 2009 – The New Mexico National Guard transported several Costa Rican dignitaries, including the vice minister of public security and the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, via UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter yesterday so they could observe the progress of exercise Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarias 2009.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Residents of the remote town of Silencio, Costa Rica, enjoyed a day of health care services administered by the New Mexico Army National Guard Medical Detachment and Air Force South after the unit landed a Black Hawk on the local soccer field. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The exercise is designed to test and improve regional and national disaster response capabilities within Central America and the Caribbean Basin.

New Mexico National Guardsmen are heavily involved in the exercise, performing search-and-rescue rehearsal missions, exchanging disaster response techniques and procedures with Costa Rican emergency officials, performing remote-location medical treatment and interacting with residents all over the country.

In an interagency meeting to assess the simulated disaster in Costa Rica, Coast Guard Cmdr. Mark Camacho, the military group advisor for the U.S. ambassador, said this is the first time the National Guard's State Partnership Program has been used in a disaster relief exercise in a foreign country. It also is the first time helicopter assets have been transported and used in a state partnership country.

The military group has been working on putting the exercise together for more than a year.

"It's very exciting to see this realized," Camacho said. "We are really pleased with everything that's going on."

The State Partnership Program is a national diplomatic program that links the National Guard with foreign nations to promote regional security, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, counterdrug operations, and to promote open trade markets. It is instrumental in building worldwide stability by nurturing collaborative relationships with foreign countries around the globe, officials said.

(From a New Mexico National Guard news release.)

Contact Author

Related Sites:
New Mexico National Guard
State Department Background Note on Costa Rica

Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Staff Sgt. Francisco Estrada of the 321st Civil Affairs Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, awards one of the top students from the Silencio school with a soccer ball. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Gonzalez, a medic with the New Mexico Army National Guard medical detachment, does the same with three other top students. The New Mexico Army National Guard medical detachment and Air Force South medical groups, accompanied by Costa Rican health professionals traveled to remote sites in Costa Rica, where clinics have been set up for the local residents. U.S. Army photo by Officer Candidate Tabitha Baker  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageTech. Sgt. Tasha Thomas, an Air Force South pharmacy technician with 81st Medical Support Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., fills a prescription for a family. The town of Silencio, Costa Rica, enjoyed a full day of health care services administered by the New Mexico Army National Guard medical detachment and Air Force South. Services included a Costa Rican dental team, pharmacy technicians, internal medicine doctors and preventive health specialists. The group is assisting Costa Rican health professionals in remote locations that do not have regular access to health care. U.S. Army photo by Officer Candidate Tabitha Baker  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Capt. (Dr.) Rachel Torres of the New Mexico National Guard helps Chavarria Salazar Carmen pick a pair of glasses from a box purchased for exercise Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarias 2009 at a remote medical treatment site in Vista Del Mar, Costa Rica. The exercise is an interagency disaster response exercise designed to test and improve regional and national disaster response capabilities. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Erin Montoya  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution



Top Features

spacer

DEFENSE IMAGERY

spacer
spacer