COLUMBUS, Ohio — About 30 members of the Ohio National Guard are participating alongside the Angolan and Serbian Armed Forces in the first combined medical engagement between the three militaries, Dec. 4-15 in the Republic of Angola.
The two-week trilateral engagement, called PAMBALA 2017, consists of two phases. Phase one, which kicked off Dec. 4 in Luanda, is focused on joint educational training in topics related to disease containment, risk mitigation, tropical diseases and prevention of hemorrhagic fever.
Phase two will consist of a four-day clinical operations mission at a field hospital in the Bengo province, run by military medical providers from Angola, Serbia and the U.S. The field hospital will be focused on providing services and training on preventative medicine, pediatrics, family practice, dermatology, optometry, dentistry, and obstetrics and gynecology.
"The Ohio National Guard's ability to participate in this trilateral agreement, which expands our engagement into Angola for the first time, is a result of our successful 11-year partnership with Serbia," said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. "PAMBALA is a great first step in building lasting relationships with Angola, improving military-to-military cooperation and promoting a greater dialogue with the Angolan Armed Forces."
During PAMBALA, the Ohio National Guard will obtain experience in alternative environments and unique training in Angola, while providing valuable coaching and mentorship on disease management and risk mitigation.
Ohio Airmen and Soldiers will be able to help create mutually beneficial relationships that build a foundation for future engagements with Angola.
The Ohio National Guard has successfully partnered with Serbia since 2006 through the State Partnership Program, managed by the National Guard Bureau since 1993. SPP has built mutually beneficial relationships around the world with more than 70 countries.
The Ohio National Guard has also partnered with Hungary since 1993. With more than 16,000 personnel, the Ohio National Guard is the nation's fourth-largest National Guard. The Ohio National Guard builds relationships around the world, responds with ready units and personnel when called for federal, state and community missions, and is an operational reserve of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.