News: Egyptian field hospital re-opens on Bagram Air Field
Story by Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - A ceremonial ribbon-cutting ushered in a new era as the doors to the El Salam Egyptian field hospital were officially re-opened on Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, June 22.
The field hospital had been closed as the unit there prepared for performing their changeover and equipment accountability processes.
“Now that changeover has been completed, we are back to training with a whole new group of Egyptian personnel,” said Capt. Chris Heinen, 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, officer in charge of bravo sector. “We have been training them in the time the hospital has been closed down. The old Egyptian crew helped us as well, and they would do the battle drills with the new crew until they got the gist of it.
“Now, we battle drill with the new crew and they are fully prepared for the opening. The Egyptians will teach their doctors basic security procedures, then, the 455th ESFS will be teaching them our own in-depth battle drills as they routinely step outside the wire to assess the patients coming in,” said Heinen who hails from Colleyville, Texas, and is currently assigned at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas.
The Egyptian field hospital is one of two field hospitals on Bagram, the other being the Korean field hospital, that together are the biggest humanitarian effort in the area of responsibility and handle a combined daily patient-load of nearly 800 people.
Some of the renovations included new facilities for the field hospital’s general surgery, general medicine, medical workshop, ophthalmology, orthopedics, dental and pediatrics to enhance patient treatment.
“Most of the hospital was b-huts,” Heinen said. “Now, about half of those b-huts have been replaced by concrete buildings offering better protection from in-direct fire for doctors, as well as patients.”
The field hospital, which opened in 2003, renders medical care to local nationals, national coalition forces without differentiation to sex, race or religion.