Botswana Exercise Concludes

Army Gen. Carter Ham, US Africa Command boss, praised the “very strong and professional relationship” between the US military and Botswana Defense Force at the ceremony marking the conclusion of three weeks of aeromedical evacuation training at Thebephatswa AB, Botswana, as part of exercise MEDLITE 12. US personnel, including Air National Guardsmen, instructed their Botswanan counterparts and provided assistance to several villages around the base, such as constructing roads, building ponds, and providing dental and medical care to local residents. “Medicine has a diplomatic value that sometimes you just don’t see,” said Lt. Col. Matt Peterson of the Minnesota Air Guard’s 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron in St. Paul. As part of the exercise, which concluded on Aug. 16, North Carolina Air Guardsmen provided hands-on training for some 30 BDF medical personnel in classroom and simulated evacuation settings. (Thebephatswa report by TSgt. Chad Thompson)