Hunting Afghan Clinics

The USAF medical force working with the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan has taken on a new task—other than running the PRT aid station and providing combat medical support—finding and assessing the status of Afghan clinics in the province. The medics work out of Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields, from which they venture out with coalition security forces and either an Afghan police or army escort to an identified site. “One of the biggest challenges we’ve experienced while trying to conduct the assessments is finding the clinics themselves,” said TSgt. Kyle Baker, a medic deployed from Peterson AFB, Colo. Once at a clinic, the airmen assess not only the medical capability of the Afghan medical personnel and quota of medical supplies, but also whether the clinic has water and electricity. They tell the PRT whether the clinic needs improvements to facilitate medical care or security. (Air Forces Central report by SSgt. Stacia Zachary)