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    Soldier Readiness Processing

    Soldier Readiness Processing

    Photo By Spc. Luke Austin | Interpreters from Forward Operating Base Lightning in Gardez, Afghanistan, check...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Luke Austin 

    33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    CAMP THUNDER, GARDEZ, Afghanistan — Before Soldiers of the Afghan national army 203rd Corps begin training here, they must first go through a process troops in the U.S. are very familiar with.

    Soldier Readiness Processing, administered here by the Camp Thunder Clinic staff and 203rd Corps Soldiers, begins a medical record for ANA soldiers, in some cases their first record, and helps screen for Soldiers who are no physically fit to serve in the ANA, said Air Force Col. Jerry Arends, the senior medical officer and Medical Embedded Training Team leader for Afghanistan Regional Security Integration Command-East.

    "Some Soldiers who aren't fit to serve aren't caught at the beginning of their service, or even much later," he said. "It is important to make sure these Soldiers are healthy and medically ready and... fit to fight."

    Arends noted that with a lot of endemic disease in Afghanistan, it's of particular importance to screen ANA soldiers as soon as possible.

    But it isn't just about trying to make sure everyone is healthy. The process also starts a record for continuity of care. The Soldiers are blood typed, given immunizations and prescriptions for eye glasses if necessary, however, they also go through an administrative screening, said Maj. Chad Livingston, an ARSIC-E, Regional Corps Advisory Command mentor.

    "We make sure they all have identification cards and the appropriate paperwork with them to begin the process," said Livingston.

    When the Medical ETT here first began doing SRP for 203rd Corps Soldiers coming to Camp Thunder for training, it was thought that it wouldn't be very successful. The potential for it to become mismanaged seemed too great, said Arends.

    "This process has exceeded expectations," he said.

    So far, it's gone smoothly. And the Afghans have done more than their part. Medical ETT members have been able to take the ideal observational role, while clinic staff and ANA cadre at Camp Thunder almost run SRP completely, Arends explained.

    "The biggest surprise was how quickly the Afghans here became self-reliant," he noted.

    One of the Medical ETT members here, Navy Lt. Commander Denise Gechas, summed up their surprise at the success of the SRP program here saying, "Against all odds, this really has been a huge success."



    Date Taken: 05.24.2009
    Date Posted: 05.24.2009 07:38
    Story ID: 34027
    Location: CAMP THUNDER, AF 

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