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News | Feb. 1, 2023

SOUTHCOM Provides Medical Assistance to Lesser Antilles

PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- Following in the wake of the USNS Comfort's recent deployment for operation Continuing Promise, U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) has kicked off operation Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team (LAMAT) this week beginning with the arrival of U.S. military personnel at USSOUTHCOM headquarters in Miami Florida, January 25, 2023.

Throughout this operation, a USSOUTHCOM joint team will perform a string of medical assistance operations to provide relief to oversaturated medical professionals in Guyana, Suriname and St. Lucia.

“This mission is critical, and these people truly value what you’re about to do for them,” said Lt. Gen. Andrew Croft, Military Deputy Commander, USSOUTHCOM. “The efforts your team makes during this mission will build the future of our relationship with these nations”

USSOUTHCOM conducts routine medical engagements throughout their area of responsibility to strengthen partnerships, enhance proficiency and improve interoperability between the participating nations. This mission focuses on primarily gastrointestinal surgeries such as hernia and cyst excisions, and dental support.

LAMAT operations have been coordinated with the host nation’s Ministry of Health and hospital medical directors to take advantage of excess capacity without displacing host nation medical providers. U.S. medical professionals will work hand-in-hand with host nation medical providers to ensure the continuity of care following all surgical procedures.

“Look, at the end of the day, we’re here to help people,” said Lt. Col. Gentry Mobley, LAMAT Mission Commander. “The goal of this mission is to make people’s lives a little better, and I trust that each and every one of you will have a critical role in that.”

This year, surgeons will begin in Suriname and move to the other two countries, over a specified period of time. Patients for gastrointestinal surgeries have been pre identified by the host nation’s Ministry of Health in coordination with medical directors. The scheduling of LAMAT’s dental patients will occur through the host nation’s normal clinic and hospital scheduling process.