A U.S. Southern Command health engagement assistance response team (HEART) operation, consisting of approximately 50 U.S. Air Force and Army medical professionals and support staff, will take place in Honduras and Guatemala in order to enhance combined medical resiliency among regional partners.
The medical assistance effort, led by Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B), will last from mid-July to early-September 2022. HEART 22 provides combined joint opportunities to improve the readiness of both U.S. and partner nation medical personnel through medical assistance efforts. HEART 22 will take place in both Guatemala and Honduras for approximately one month each and will include the integration of partner nation medical professionals. The integration is an effort by regional partners to enhance each other’s capability to respond to public health crises associated with natural disasters.
The United States is an enduring partner with a shared stake in the security and prosperity of the region. This health engagement will build upon the strong U.S., Guatemalan, and Honduran capabilities, enhancing medical resiliency.
Medical Services Provided
Medical assistance specialties offered include Ophthalmology (general and cornea transplant surgeries), Orthopedics (general, trauma, and surgeries) and Dental (restorative dental surgeries) medical professionals. Surgical patients were pre-selected by the host nation to ensure the medical assistance response teams are able to treat patients as efficiently as possible.
Benefits of HEART 22
This medical engagement greatly benefits both the patients who receive actual medical care and personnel involved by building partnerships and interoperability in addition to helping local communities with medical care that may not have otherwise been possible. HEART 22 will benefit U.S. military medical personnel by providing valuable opportunities to learn from and build partnerships with peers from the partner nations involved. In addition, the medical engagement provides medical professionals a chance to exchange knowledge and build real-world application of medical support.
About Supporting U.S. Military Personnel
Approximately 25 U.S. military medical personnel will participate in HEART 22 at various times and locations during the two-month mission, including medical professionals and their support staff. The U.S. service members participating are experienced doctors, nurses and technicians who will administer actual medical care to citizens in Guatemala and Honduras alongside partner nation medical professionals.
In addition to the 25 medical personnel and their staff from the United States, U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base Honduras, will also support HEART 22. The aviation support will provide transportation for related medical materials and the U.S. team towards the conclusion of the engagement as they transition from Honduras to Guatemala for follow-on medical engagements.