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618 AOC mobilizes aircraft to delivery a large mobile field hospital to Suriname

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Samuel Swanson
  • 618 AOC

A large mobile field hospital was delivered to the Suriname Ministry of Health under the direction of the 618th Air Operations Center and U.S. Southern Command, July 17, 2021, in an effort to help alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local communities in the South American nation.

“We are committed to helping the Surinamese people,” said Karen Lynn Williams, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname. “The flexibility of this field hospital means it is not only useful given the current global pandemic, but it can be used anywhere, anytime, to supplement Suriname’s baseline medical care. This is a long-term effort to truly support the people of Suriname.”

The field hospital, valued at $745,000, was donated to Suriname by SOUTHCOM. The SOUTHCOM-funded hospital can house up to 70 patient beds, comes equipped with two diesel generators and nine air conditioning units, and is built to operate autonomously. SOUTHCOM has facilitated the donation of $600,000 worth of additional COVID-19 equipment to Suriname in the past year as a part of their ongoing effort to provide assistance to Caribbean, Central American, and South American partner nations.

Since the start of the pandemic, the 618 AOC has played a lead role in the Department of Defense's pandemic response, overseeing the movement of patients, vaccines, test kits, ventilators and other medical equipment, to locations around the world. This includes providing pandemic relief support to America's partners and allies abroad. The delivery of such supplies not only empowers local communities to launch a more robust response to regional outbreaks, but also demonstrates the United States' commitment to combatting the virus on a global scale. 

As the command and control hub for Air Mobility Command, the 618 AOC has provided the expert planning, tasking, execution, and assessment of mobility operations that America's global warfighters have come to rely on. Ensuring the delivery of critical medical equipment to communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic is yet another example of how the AOC has rapidly mobilized the fleet to respond to emerging crises worldwide.