by Staff Sgt. Tong Duong
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
3/25/2015 - QUANG NGAI, Vietnam -- The
United States and Vietnam began humanitarian assistance operations here
March 23 as part of Operation Pacific Angel 15-3.
Entering its eighth year, PACANGEL ensures the region's militaries are
prepared to work together to address humanitarian crises. Since 2007,
PACANGEL operations have improved the lives of tens of thousands of
"Providing humanitarian assistance is an important part of our United
States Pacific Command," said Lt. Col. Darcie Yoshimoto, PACANGEL 15-3
mission commander. "Working with our host nation to provide medical and
engineering projects directly impacts and helps the people in the Quang
Ngai province of Vietnam."
Lead by Pacific Air Forces, PACANGEL is a total force, joint and
combined operation involving more than 45 U.S. military members who are
deployed to Vietnam to partner with local non-governmental organizations
and host-nation military forces to provide various functions. This
includes health-services outreach, engineering civil action programs, as
well as various subject matter expert exchanges.
Medical professionals and civil engineers from the U.S. Army, Marines,
Navy and Air Force set up temporary clinics to provide general health,
optometry, dental, physical therapy, pediatrics and engineering programs
for at least 2,500 patients, according to Yoshimoto, who is deployed
from 713th Combat Operations Squadron, Detachment 1 at Joint Base Pearl
Pacific Angel participants are also renovating two schools and two
district medical clinics by providing structural, roofing, plumbing,
electrical and painting repairs.
For Senior Airman Hoang Nguyen, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron water and
fuel maintenance specialist from Yokota Air Base, Japan, helping to
improve the living conditions for others gives him a sense of pride.
"The majority of my relatives live within hours of this province, so it
feels good to be part of this operation and have a direct impact on
their lives," Nguyen said. "Their standard of living is different from
ours, so we are retrofitting the plumbing of two schools and two medical
clinics with up-to-date and higher quality parts to ensure sanitary
conditions and that these upgrades last a lot longer."
Although this is the fifth time U.S. military members have worked with
host-nation military personnel to improve quality of life throughout the
region, this is the first multilateral operation to take place in
Vietnam, with members of the Royal Cambodian, Republic of Singapore and
Royal Thai air forces.