In partnership with the Benin Armed Forces, U.S. Army Africa conducted a joint Medical Readiness Education and Training Exercise in Cotonou from January 14 to 25, 2013. This humanitarian assistance exercise aimed to increase medical capabilities and proficiencies for both forces. Protecting public health is an important piece of national security and these skills are essential for a prepared military.
"This event demonstrates that military to military partnership can go beyond equipment and training," said U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor. "Our U.S.-Benin military partnership is enhanced by building relationships and sharing expertise."
Experts from the Benin military and Ministry of Health learned about disease surveillance practices used by the U.S. military. These skills are crucial to the Beninese public, the regional community, and the world, as disease know no borders. Surveillance and reporting skills will enable the medical community to recognize and respond to diseases and be better prepared to stop a pandemic. It was not just the Benin military that benefited from this experience. Just as their Beninese colleagues learned new skills, the U.S. military personnel took away new knowledge as well. They received valuable, real-world training in tropical infectious diseases from their knowledgeable Beninese colleagues.
Deputy Commanding General of United States Army Africa (USARAF) Brigadier General Peter Corey visited Benin at the conclusion of the exercise to recognize the outstanding work done by the Benin Armed Forces and U.S. Army Africa.