MEDCEUR 2010 kicks off with community day
More than 100 servicemembers from U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S. Army Europe and Marine Forces Reserve arrived Sept. 7 in Podgorica, Montenegro to participate in this tenth annual Partnership for Peace Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored medical training exercise.
Airman 1st Class Kimberly Walls, 48th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics technician from RAF Lakenheath, England, peers over the edge of a boat during a river clean-up outside Danilovgrad, Montenegro, Sept. 8. Airman Walls is part of the Medical Training Exercise in Central and Eastern Europe 2010. MEDCEUR 2010 brings together nine central and eastern European nations for a series of joint activities meant to improve medical mass casualty operation, planning and coordination skills. (U.S. Marine Corp photo/Lance Cpl. Jad Sleiman)
3 photos: Airman 1st Class Kimberly Walls, 48th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics technician from RAF Lakenheath, England, peers over the edge of a boat during a river clean-up outside Danilovgrad, Mon
Photo 1 of 3: Airman 1st Class Kimberly Walls, 48th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics technician from RAF Lakenheath, England, peers over the edge of a boat during a river clean-up outside Danilovgrad, Montenegro, Sept. 8. Airman Walls is part of the Medical Training Exercise in Central and Eastern Europe 2010. MEDCEUR 2010 brings together nine central and eastern European nations for a series of joint activities meant to improve medical mass casualty operation, planning and coordination skills. (U.S. Marine Corp photo/Lance Cpl. Jad Sleiman) Download full-resolution version
Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army and 48th Fighter Wing Chaplain (Capt.) Joseph Fisher from RAF Lakenheath, England, plant a black pine tree in the Topolovo region of Montenegro Sept. 8. Chaplain Fisher is in Montenegro for MEDCEUR 10, a Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored Partnership for Peace medical exercise for central and eastern Europe. Nine countries are participating in this exercise. For more information got to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany Deuel)
3 photos: Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army and 48th Fighter Wing Chaplain (Capt.) Joseph Fisher from RAF Lakenheath, England, plant a black pine tree in the Topolovo region of Montenegro Sept. 8
Photo 2 of 3: Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army and 48th Fighter Wing Chaplain (Capt.) Joseph Fisher from RAF Lakenheath, England, plant a black pine tree in the Topolovo region of Montenegro Sept. 8. Chaplain Fisher is in Montenegro for MEDCEUR 10, a Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored Partnership for Peace medical exercise for central and eastern Europe. Nine countries are participating in this exercise. For more information got to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany Deuel) Download full-resolution version
Staff Sgt. Teresa Allen, 48th Fighter Wing chaplain assistant from RAF Lakenheath, England, plants a black pine tree as Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army makes a hole for the next tree in the Topolovo region of Montenegro Sept. 8. Sergeant Allen is one of several U.S. armed forces members in Montenegro for MEDCEUR 10, a Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored Partnership for Peace medical training exercise for central and eastern Europe. For more information got to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany Deuel)
3 photos: Staff Sgt. Teresa Allen, 48th Fighter Wing chaplain assistant from RAF Lakenheath, England, plants a black pine tree as Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army makes a hole for the next tree
Photo 3 of 3: Staff Sgt. Teresa Allen, 48th Fighter Wing chaplain assistant from RAF Lakenheath, England, plants a black pine tree as Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army makes a hole for the next tree in the Topolovo region of Montenegro Sept. 8. Sergeant Allen is one of several U.S. armed forces members in Montenegro for MEDCEUR 10, a Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored Partnership for Peace medical training exercise for central and eastern Europe. For more information got to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany Deuel) Download full-resolution version
Airman 1st Class Kimberly Walls, 48th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics technician from RAF Lakenheath, England, peers over the edge of a boat during a river clean-up outside Danilovgrad, Montenegro, Sept. 8. Airman Walls is part of the Medical Training Exercise in Central and Eastern Europe 2010. MEDCEUR 2010 brings together nine central and eastern European nations for a series of joint activities meant to improve medical mass casualty operation, planning and coordination skills. (U.S. Marine Corp photo/Lance Cpl. Jad Sleiman)
Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army and 48th Fighter Wing Chaplain (Capt.) Joseph Fisher from RAF Lakenheath, England, plant a black pine tree in the Topolovo region of Montenegro Sept. 8. Chaplain Fisher is in Montenegro for MEDCEUR 10, a Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored Partnership for Peace medical exercise for central and eastern Europe. Nine countries are participating in this exercise. For more information got to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany Deuel)
Staff Sgt. Teresa Allen, 48th Fighter Wing chaplain assistant from RAF Lakenheath, England, plants a black pine tree as Corporal Pogyre Markovic of the Montenegrin Army makes a hole for the next tree in the Topolovo region of Montenegro Sept. 8. Sergeant Allen is one of several U.S. armed forces members in Montenegro for MEDCEUR 10, a Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored Partnership for Peace medical training exercise for central and eastern Europe. For more information got to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany Deuel)

DANILOVGRAD, Montenegro -- U.S. servicemembers and Montenegrin armed forces members kicked off Medical Central and Eastern Europe Exercise 2010 today by planting trees and paying a nearby river some extra attention.

More than 100 servicemembers from U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S. Army Europe and Marine Forces Reserve arrived Sept. 7 in Podgorica, Montenegro to participate in this tenth annual Partnership for Peace Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored medical training exercise.

The Airmen, Soldiers and Marines joined the 18 logistics, services, communication and support personnel already in place working along side the Montenegrin armed forces, and will be joined later by armed forces personnel from nine central and eastern European countries.

The environmentally-focused community day took place in Danilovgrad, which allowed the American servicemembers to work together with the Montenegrin Army and interact with the Montenegrin community. A group of approximately 60 servicemembers split up to tackle two different projects.

The first group of servicemembers went 20 km north of Danilovgrad to Topolovo, Montenegro and planted 1,250 black pine trees on the hillside as part of a replenishment project following a recent forest fire.

"It's been a real help to have the Americans here as we reconstruct our forest," said Goran Koljensic, head officer of the Montenegrin Forest Service for the Danilovgrad district.

The Topolovo region is prized among Montenegrins for its health and wellness attractions and each of the servicemembers who planted trees received a letter of thanks from the Ecological Society of Zeta-Spruz.

"This action will improve the environment for all animal and plant life," said Dr. Miodrag Djurovic, a local ecological expert.

Meanwhile, the other group traveled up and down the river Zeta removing garbage from the water's surface and trimming trees along the riverbanks.

For Tech. Sgt. Tonya O'Toole, a medical technician from RAF Lakenheath, the ride down the river reminded her of her childhood in the Cumberland Gap between Tennessee and Virginia.

"We're from two different parts of the world but the people are fundamentally the same," said Sergeant O'Toole.

Tech. Sgt. Jose Libunao, also from RAF Lakenheath, agreed.

"You can meet friends anywhere in the world whether you speak the same language or not," he said. "We all care about the environment so I was just glad to help out."

Finally, after the work was completed, both groups returned to Danilovgrad where the local residents prepared traditional fish soup and fried fish for all as a show of gratitude.

"Montenegro is such a lovely country," said Lt. Col. Jeff White, Expeditionary Medical Squadron commander from RAF Lakenheath. "As an American Airman I love the opportunity to assist the local population and help make the area even more beautiful," he said.

Opening ceremonies for MEDCEUR 10 are scheduled for Sept. 10 followed by classroom seminars and live exercises simulating a variety of peace support operations such as crisis response and disaster relief.

For more information got to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me.

(Editor's note: Information for this story was provided by Marine Lance Cpl. Jad Sleiman.)
 

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