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Home : News : State Partnership Program
NEWS | May 23, 2024

North Dakota Guard Joins Medical Exercise with Ghana

By Staff Sgt. Luke Wilson, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa

ACCRA, Ghana - U.S. Army and Air Force medical professionals from the 86th Medical Squadron, Dental Health Activity - Rheinland Pfalz, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, U.S. Army Medical Command and the State Medical Detachment, North Dakota National Guard are conducting a medical readiness exercise with the Ghana Armed Forces through May 31.

The 25-member U.S. medical team is collaborating with Ghanaian doctors, nurses and medical repair technicians to care for patients at the 37th Military Hospital in Accra throughout the three-week exercise. 

Since 1994, the North Dakota National Guard has maintained a productive relationship with Ghana, conducting numerous exchanges as part of the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.

Under the leadership of U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), MEDREX facilitates the exchange of medical procedures and enhancement of treatment capabilities among medical personnel from the U.S. military and partner nations. This marks the fourth of eight scheduled MEDREXs by SETAF-AF across the African continent in fiscal 2024.

“This year marks a significant milestone as we embark on the 10th iteration of this invaluable partnership between the United States military and the Ghana Armed Forces,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John LeBlanc, deputy commanding general - National Guard of SETAF-AF. “Since the inception of our first MEDREX in 2014, our collaboration has steadily grown, fostering enhanced readiness and interoperability between our respective militaries.”

MEDREX Ghana 2024 is integrated into exercise African Lion 24, the largest annual combined joint exercise of U.S. Africa Command, spanning Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia from April 19 through May 31. This exercise, involving approximately 8,100 personnel from over 27 nations and contingents from NATO, focuses on enhancing readiness between the United States and partner nation forces.

In Ghana, the multinational team collaborates and shares best medical practices while caring for patients. Their services include surgery, anesthesiology, operating room procedures, OB/GYN, dental care, emergency room services and bioengineering equipment repair.

Apart from Ghana, the North Dakota National Guard also maintains state partnerships with the African countries of Togo and Benin. 

The State Partnership Program fosters relationships that enhance global security, understanding and cooperation, encouraging long-term ties across all societal levels and facilitating economic, political and military development between U.S. states and partner nations.

“Our focus remains on strengthening and enabling African land forces to advance our shared security objectives,” said LeBlanc. “As we embark on this MEDREX, let us remember that SETAF-AF’s approach in Africa is partner-led and U.S.-enabled. Through partnership, trust and respect, we will continue to make meaningful strides towards a safer and more prosperous future for all.”