Saturday, June 15, 2013

PACANGEL 13-3 renovates community, enriches lives in Vietnam

by Staff Sgt. Sara Csurilla
PACANGEL 13-3 Public Affairs

6/14/2013 - DONG HOI, Vietnam  -- Eighteen U.S. military members partnered with ten military members from the Vietnam People's Army to help repair buildings in Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam, from June 10 through 15.

The renovation projects were part of the Engineering Civil Action Program with Operation Pacific Angel 13-3.

PACANGEL 13-3 is a joint and combined operation held in various countries several times a year and includes medical, dental, optometry, engineering programs, along with SMEEs. More than 50 U.S. military members deployed to Vietnam for PACANGEL 13-3 to partner with local non-governmental organizations and host-nation military forces.

The 28-man team worked unwaveringly throughout the operation to renovate two schools and rebuild one medical facility.

First Lt. Jose Vallejo, PACANGEL 13-3 lead engineer planner from the 673rd Civil Engineer Group out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, said they were nearly finished with the medical facility by completing projects that will not only improve the overall sanitation, but elevate their quality of life.

"Our team revamped the entire building both inside and out, from installing a new roof, drop ceiling and windows," said Vallejo. "With our combined efforts we were able to build a medical waste incinerator from scratch to eliminate the spread of pathogens, build two new bathrooms that never existed before, install a whole new septic system, set up a new sink with running water in the delivery room and even Install two air conditioning units."

With one team made of two completely different cultures, it was obvious from the start that not only did they speak different languages, they even had a different way of doing their jobs.

"The language difference definitely made some of the communication difficult at times, but we were able to come up with a system where we could understand each other," Vallejo said. "Even with the language barrier their knowledge was priceless and there's no way we would have been able to complete these projects without them."

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