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    Afghan Air Force and NATO Air Training Command – Afghanistan members make Afghans smile

    Afghan Air Force and NATO Air Training Command – Afghanistan members make Afghans smile

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Vladimir Potapenko | NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan advisor Tech. Sgt. Ernel Carty sits on an Afghan...... read more read more

    KABUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AFGHANISTAN

    12.12.2010

    Story by Capt. Robert Leese 

    438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – In early September, the call went out to the friends and family of the NATO Air Training Command – Afghanistan to send packages of dental hygiene items to Kabul to help improve the lives of the Afghan people.

    The urgent need for dental hygiene items was answered when NATC-A members received over 2,000 kits of tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes and other dental items.

    Operation Afghan Smile is a continuing program started by NATC-A advisors Tech. Sgt. Ernel Carty and Master Sgt. Kevin Fife, that stressed the importance of dental hygiene and helped distribute toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and travel pouches to Afghan citizens, especially those in rural and isolated villages.

    Tech. Sgt. Carty explained, “Every other week we get a couple hundred packages or kits, so we build them up and have them staged for missions primarily geared to help children, but adults as well.”

    The Afghan Air Force and NATC-A members have already performed multiple humanitarian missions throughout the year, but they have added a new element to their humanitarian assistance missions by helping to focus on dental care.

    During a mission on Nov. 11, two AAF Mi-17s flew to the Badhakshan province where 1,000 dental hygiene kits were given to the village elders to help the community.

    Summing up his greatest accomplishment while deployed here for the last year Carty said, “As far as for the community, it would be going out to Badhakshan and actually being able to give back to the community. Aside from that, working day by day with the Afghans in the AAF and teaching them what we know and teaching them better maintenance practices.”

    The idea for Operation Afghan Smile came from a similar program done at one of the NATC-A advisor’s church and a story about fellow NATC-A Airmen taking up a collection to help pay for one of their Afghan counterpart's dentures.

    “We saw the older community, like the adults that we work with, their dental hygiene wasn’t great and some of the kids that we see on the flight line that come to work with their parents, their dental hygiene was a little of poor also. So we wanted to get it out to the community and kind of spread awareness and help them out. Catch it at an early age and when they are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, their hygiene will be better,” said Carty.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.12.2010
    Date Posted: 12.12.2010 07:28
    Story ID: 61777
    Location: KABUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AF 

    Web Views: 114
    Downloads: 1
    Podcast Hits: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN