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."