Efforts continue in aiding Chile after quake

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A Chilean surgical technician and Senior Airman Alexander Balock reach for instruments during the first surgery at the expeditionary medical hospital March 15, 2010, in Angol, Chile. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca)

By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Hanson
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

While news on the earthquake that shook Chile, Feb. 27 has been “quiet” as of late, efforts are still ongoing to get the country back on its feet. Some of those efforts include ongoing medical and logistical support from the U.S. Air Force and Navy.

During a DoD Live Bloggers Roundtable discussion yesterday, March 17, 2010, Col. Byron Mathewson, commander of U.S. military forces deployed to Chile in support of earthquake relief operations, provided bloggers with an update on United States Southern Command support to relief operations of which the U.S. military continues to gain experience and perfects as incidents occur.

“Any time there’s an operation, we thoroughly review our lessons learned in trying to apply them to any follow-on type of operation. So in this case, any lessons learned from Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, tsunami relief that happened in Indonesia, the earthquake in Pakistan that happened a few years back, gathering that kind of information as the military does well, we gathered those lessons learned and try to apply it in this particular situation,” — Colonel Mathewson.

Along with SOUTHCOM’s Website, check out the Air Force’s stories and videos for more information about the military’s efforts since they set up camp just after the earthquake hit.

Full photo information: A Chilean surgical technician and Senior Airman Alexander Balock reach for instruments during the first surgery at the expeditionary medical hospital March 15, 2010, in Angol, Chile. The local hospital in Angol, a city southeast of Conception, Chile, was deemed structurally unsound as a result of an 8.8-magnitude earthquake Feb. 27. With the nearest operation ward more than 40 miles away, and many other local hospitals overwhelmed with casualties following the earthquake, local Chilean officials requested assistance from U.S. forces to help with primary care capabilities. Airman Balock is a surgical technician from the 81st Medical Surgical Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca)