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    Physician assistant with Massachusetts National Guard, FEMA travels to Kenya for exercise Justified Accord 2023

    Physician assistant for Massachusetts National Guard, FEMA travels to Kenya for exercise Justified Accord 2023

    Photo By Sgt. Alysia C Brewster | U.S. Army Maj. Jose Corporan-Reyes, from Milton, Mass., is a physician assistant with...... read more read more

    NAIROBI, Kenya – U.S. Army Maj. Jose Corporan-Reyes, from Milton, Mass., is a physician assistant with Medical Command, 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Massachusetts National Guard. He also serves as a physician assistant for Region 1 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Homeland Response Force (HRF).

    Staffed by National Guard units, HRFs are dispersed geographically throughout the U.S. to maximize the ability to rapidly respond in case of a man-made or natural disaster involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear contamination. Corporan-Reyes and his team are prepared to provide necessary life-saving capacity, arriving at the disaster location within hours of first report.

    Corporan-Reyes traveled from Boston to Nairobi, Kenya, to participate in exercise Justified Accord 2023 (JA23). He joined nearly 1,000 multinational service members from approximately 20 partner nations and four continents at U.S. Africa Command’s largest military exercise in East Africa. JA23 increases partner readiness for peacekeeping operations and crisis response.

    “This is my second time in Africa, both times in Kenya,” said Corporan-Reyes. “I was here last year with the Massachusetts National Guard to help with a field hospital donated to the northern part of Nairobi.”

    Although Corporan-Reyes normally provides medical care to those with injuries or illness, he primarily served as a medical advisor while establishing the Nairobi-based hospital, including how to best utilize the hospital’s services with the resources available.

    “I like history and I love to learn about different cultures through reading and talking to people,” said Corporan-Reyes.

    In his second visit to Kenya, Corporan-Reyes is doing double duty. For one, he and his medical team provide services such as sutures for small injuries and issuing multiple medications depending on the diagnosis.

    "We can even apply measures to treat a heart attack before transferring patients to a local hospital," he added.

    Besides medical response, he is also providing support to a multinational staff officer course which focuses on regional security, crisis response and peacekeeping operations. The course includes discussion amongst small groups, as well as table top exercises where participants solve simulated problems based on real-world disaster scenarios.

    Staff course instructors compare the lessons they learned from documented crisis response after action reviews to the answers given by participants in the course. This process further enhances the multinational response to future disasters.

    "We have a state partnership with Kenya," said Corporan-Reyes. "Part of that is to take care of our Soldiers, both from the U.S. and those from the Kenyan Defence Forces. It's all about building the relationship."

    Through the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, the Massachusetts National Guard and Kenyan Defence Forces conduct mutually beneficial military engagements in support of defense security cooperation goals, working to strengthen each other's domestic response capabilities. They have shared the relationship since Oct. 2015.

    The rest of JA23 is held in Isiolo, Kenya, from Feb. 10-23, where infantry units from the U.S. and African partner nations combine forces during numerous live-fire and field training exercises. Not only do American and partner forces work in the field together, they also share the same base camp for sleeping and have similar food options available in the camp’s two dining facilities.

    “I love to eat, but my go-to meal is chicken stir fry with rice,” shared Corporan-Reyes.

    Fortunately for him, the exercise menu has included many meals with chicken and rice, making him feel a little closer at home.

    "I'm so happy to be here," he said. "This is a great experience. Our medics who train here are exposed to the culture and techniques of our African partners, making them an overall better provider once we go home."



    Date Taken: 02.19.2023
    Date Posted: 02.19.2023 06:46
    Story ID: 438776
    Location: NAIROBI, KE 
    Hometown: MILTON, MA, US

    Web Views: 936
    Downloads: 2