Treating, Educating Islanders in Need:

Over the summer the 728th Airlift Squadron from Air Force Reserve Command’s 446th Airlift Wing at McChord AFB, Wash., provided airlift to and from Pacific islands on the eastern seaboard of Australia for wing medical personnel and other US airmen, sailors, and soldiers who provided health care, health training, and civil engineering expertise to the island nation of Kiribati, the island of Nauru, and a group of more than 80 tropical islands called Vanuatu. Sandra Pishner reports the medical team cared for 1,668 medical patients and 2,650 dental patients in 96 hours. “We worked with the head masters of each school to set up a school-based dental health program and instructed them on how they could incorporate dental health into their classroom instruction,” said Col. Dennis Robertson, a dentist from the 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron. They taught police, fire and customs officials on Vanuatu about basic life support and self-aid buddy care, so the officials could in turn train the islanders.