U.S. and Malaysian military medical professionals take part in a mass casualty training scenario during Exercise Pacific Angel at Subang Air Base, Malaysia, Aug. 16, 2022.

U.S. and Malaysian military medical professionals take part in a mass casualty training scenario during Exercise Pacific Angel at Subang Air Base, Malaysia, Aug. 16, 2022. (Jessi Roth/U.S. Air Force)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Health care professionals from the U.S. military in the Indo-Pacific and the U.S. are heading to Mongolia on Monday for the start of an exercise in humanitarian relief, according to Pacific Air Forces.

Sixty-five service members are taking part in the 16th Pacific Angel, a five-day exercise in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, that focuses on military assistance to civilians, Maj. Christopher Merian, a spokesman for Pacific Air Forces, told Stars and Stripes via email Tuesday.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command sponsors Pacific Angel, which this year includes units from the Air Force, Space Force, Air National Guard, Navy, Marine Corps and Army, Merian said.

“Pacific Angel is an opportunity to support the host nation’s efforts to bring assistance to their people through humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Merian said.

The exercise will cover medical programs, dental programs and optometry, along with subject-matter expert exchanges, and civic and engineering assistance programs, he said.

From the Indo-Pacific, units sending personnel to the exercise include the 203rd Air Refueling Squadron and 624th Regional Support Group of the 15th Wing at Hickam Air Force Base and the Army’s 130th Engineer Brigade at Schofield Barracks, all in Hawaii; the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base, 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base and 374th Airlift Wing, at Yokota Air Base, all in Japan; the 36th Wing, Anderson Air Force Base, Guam; and the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea.

Stateside commands involved are the 176th Wing and the 673rd Air Base Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the 354th Fighter Wing, Eielson Air Force Base, both in Alaska; the 121st Air Refueling Wing, Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio; the 143rd Airlift Wing, Quonset Point Air National Guard Station, Rhode Island; the 355th Medical Group, Davis–Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; and the 460th Space Wing, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

Two Nepalese army doctors and one Thai air force doctor are also taking part, Merian said.

Last year’s operation took place in Malaysia from Aug. 15 to 19 and involved U.S., Malaysian and Australian air forces and non-governmental organizations and observers from Mongolia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

To prepare for the event the host governments and militaries assess their communities’ needs for specific activities, Merian said.

Pacific Angel also covers emergency response triage and care, casualty evacuation, infectious disease control, engineering programs and airfield operations and repairs, he said.

“The United States is dedicated to working with each host nation through productive military-to-military exchanges,” Merian said. “These training exercises and engagements are designed to enhance the host nation’s capacity to care for its citizens and posture itself to respond quickly and effectively to the range of natural disasters frequently experienced.”

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Kelly Agee is a reporter and photographer at Yokota Air Base, Japan, who has served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. She is a Syracuse Military Photojournalism Program alumna and is working toward her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Her previous Navy assignments have taken her to Greece, Okinawa, and aboard the USS Nimitz.

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