Despite the downpour of rain, over 300 Nepal Army, U.S. military and local community residents attended the closing ceremony of OPERATION PACIFIC ANGEL at Machhapuchhre Higher Secondary School in Kaski District, Pokhara yesterday.
According to a press release of US Embassy, officiating over the ceremony was Nepal Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Nepal Bhusan Chand, Western Division Commander Major General Victor, and on behalf of the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, Major General Russell J. Handy, Director of Operations, Plans, Requirements and Programs, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
“We are honored to have worked alongside the Nepal Army through our Pacific Angel program, and deeply appreciate the hospitality our Nepali hosts have extended to us,” said Handy. “Throughout this past week, we have been continually impressed with the professionalism of the Nepal Army, and applaud the Nepal Army and the Ministry of Home Affairs for their diligent efforts to improve the quality of life of Nepal’s citizens,” he added.
From September 10-15, over 4,195 local area villagers were given free medical assistance in pediatrics, optometry, physio-therapy, public health infection control, food safety, women’s health and pre-post partum nutrition care. Two babies were born – one at the medical site and one taken to a hospital in Pokhara due to complications. Both babies and mothers are doing well. Humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and first responder subject matter exchanges and simulated exercises between Nepal Army, local Pokhara police, and U.S. Air Force personnel were held at the Western Regional Nepal Army Headquarters.
It took a combined team of over 200 Nepal Army, U.S. Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, and Mongolian Armed Forces members, along with the assistance from Gandaki Medical College, Teaching Hospital and Research Centre Private Limited (Charak Hospital), Himalaya Eye Hospital – Nau Danda Training Health Post, and Western Regional Health Directorate, and volunteers from the Junior Red Cross Of Shree Macchapuchhre Higher Secondary School, and the Dikhur Pokhari Youth Network to complete these projects.
Three construction and renovation projects were completed at Macchapucchre primary and secondary schools, and at the Macchhapuchhre district post. A team of 80 Nepal Army and U.S. military designers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, and brick-layers enhanced and improved a school hostel, restroom facilities, water tank and pump systems, and school cafeteria.
Handy concluded, “These efforts are a visible expression of our combined commitment to peace and stability in this region with the desire to strengthen the relationship between our countries and our continuing resolve to ensure increased humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in this region.”
Since 2007, Pacific Angel events have been the cornerstone of U.S. Pacific Air Force’s engagement efforts to partner with host nation military personnel throughout the Asia-Pacific region to not only improve the lives of tens of thousands of people, but to also improve our integrated operations with like-minded military and civilian and engineering professionals. This year, Pacific Angel has been conducted in Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines.