U.S. European Command hosts annual humanitarian assistance conference

TIRANA, Albania — U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. A.J. Haysman of the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC), Georgia, tries on a pair of adaptive eyewear glasses at the 2009 EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Conference. This eyewear was developed by Oxford's Center for Vision in the Developing World and has been used in previous EUCOM sponsored humanitarian assistance medical initiatives with great success. (Department of Defense photo)

TIRANA, Albania — U.S. European Command (EUCOM) held its annual humanitarian assistance conference June 2-5, 2009 bringing together civilian and military delegates responsible for carrying out humanitarian assistance projects within the EUCOM area of responsibility.

The conference allowed Offices of Defense Cooperation from 18 embassies who identify and coordinate the execution of humanitarian assistance projects to meet with technical representatives who enable their efforts. Such projects include school and hospital renovations, excess property donations and providing equipment to disaster first responders.

"This conference provides the EUCOM humanitarian assistance programs an opportunity to train ODC country team staff on humanitarian assistance program requirements and processes," said Chuck Brady, EUCOM's chief of Civil Military Operations, "and allows them to speak with the technical representatives who will help them identify and execute humanitarian assistance projects within their countries."

Represented at the conference were the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, the EUCOM Surgeon, Naval Facilities Engineering, the 642nd Contingency Contracting Team and 18 representatives from ODC offices of in the EUCOM area of responsibility.

Of particular interest this year, was a presentation by Dr. David Crosby, Centre for Vision in the Developing World, University of Oxford, on the attributes and employment considerations of adaptive eyeglasses for people in developing regions who do not have access to optometrist.

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