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    In the air and across cultures: Army Reserves Nurse connects with partner nations at TRADEWINDS 24

    In the air and across cultures: Army Reserves Nurse connects with partner nations at TRADEWINDS 24

    Photo By Capt. Brittany Whitehead | Sgt. Karinna Matthews, a nurse with the 328th Field Hospital poses for a photo during...... read more read more

    PARAGON ARMY BASE, BARBADOS

    05.15.2024

    Story by Capt. Brittany Whitehead 

    U.S. Army South

    Sgt. Karinna Matthews is used to seeing the world from the air. When she’s not caring for patients as a nurse in the 328th Field Support Hospital (FSH), 330th Medical Brigade, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), she spends her days as a helicopter tour pilot, excited to share the joy of aviation with others. When she arrived in Barbados for TRADEWINDS 24 (TW24), she did not expect the chance to nourish her love of rotary aviation, but she would come to be pleasantly surprised.

    Matthews, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, grew up speaking multiple languages every day, so being at TW24 brought valuable skills that increased partnership and operational reach. .

    “I love being here. There are so many varied cultures here, everyone is working and joking together, it’s like being home visiting my family.” She was able to use her language skills to help serve patients at Paragon’s Troop Medical Clinic, as well as to connect with partner forces as she spent time in camp and around the island in various training events.

    Her ability to bridge language gaps with military counterparts from multiple nations led Matthews to an experience few Americans had during TW24, the opportunity to ride in a Mexican helicopter. During medical training with the Barbados Defence Force, Matthews met members of the Mexican naval Urban Search and Rescue team. They introduced her to Ensign Alan Pérez, an AS565 MBe Panther pilot for the Mexican navy.

    After hearing she was a pilot, Pérez obtained permission and offered Matthews the opportunity to take a short ride. Matthews recounted the experience, her first in a military aircraft, as familiar but with a new twist, “They did all the pre-checks, the start-ups were all the same, all the aviation electronics inside were in English. But when we landed on the ship, docked at Pelican Coast Guard Station, it was a completely new experience for me. It was such a small landing zone and seeing all the guys rush out with their straps was really exciting.”

    Pérez, who landed Matthews on the Mexican naval patrol vessel ARM Guanajuato (PO-153) , said that for him and his crew, meeting her was surprising. “We are not used to seeing women who fly helicopters in Mexico. It was a great experience because she understood everything we said, she had complete knowledge of all helicopter functions and operations.”

    Matthews said that her experience in the air with Mexican partners and all her time at TW24 illustrated for her how much the allied partners who participated have more in common than not. “When you talk to them and get to know them and their experiences, we are all really the same, and that’s what I loved about Tradewinds.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.15.2024
    Date Posted: 05.17.2024 12:24
    Story ID: 471589
    Location: PARAGON ARMY BASE, BB

    Web Views: 468
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN