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Minnesota National Guard
204th ASMC commander provides mission update on Minnesota Military Radio

Minnesota Military Radio ST PAUL, Minn- More than 40 Soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard's 204th Area Support Medical Company left Cottage Grove, Sept 14, 2014, for a nine-month deployment in support of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai, Egypt

After pre-deployment training at Fort Dix, NJ, the unit arrived in Eqypt in mid-October to begin their mission of providing health service support, medical care and health protection measures for members of 14 different nations that make up the MFO

Capt Jonathan Vang, commander of the 204th ASMC, recently called in to Minnesota Military Radio to give an update on how the unit is adapting to its new mission overseas

"We fell in and the team before us did an amazing job of training us up before they headed out," said Vang "The mission's been going on for quite some time Every year it keeps improving and improving We're just fortunate enough to be a part of this team that has done such a good job of taking care of the facilities"

The unit operates at two locations in Egypt and is augmented with active duty Soldiers and medical providers, in addition to organic assets that include medics, x-ray technicians, lab technicians, patient administration, supply specialists, a veterinary section and a preventive medicine section

"We've got the services of a small-town hospital - x-ray, lab, dental, emergency support," said Vang "The majority of the injuries that we see are sports-type of injuries, whether it's from doing physical fitness or playing some type of sports"

The Soldiers are adapting to life in Egypt where Vang says they have their own rooms; slow, but reliable internet connection and dining options that allow them to try a variety of foods from the countries of the 14 MFO nations The Soldiers are not allowed off of the base and into the local community, but do have access to many morale, welfare and recreation activities to keep them busy

"I'd say the morale's pretty high," said Vang "The leaders are doing a great job making sure that the Soldiers are engaged and have things to do"

"The Yellow Ribbon Network has [also] been super supportive, making sure that before we left we were equipped and being in contact with us making sure that when we come back they're ready for us," said Vang

As the Soldiers prepare to spend the holidays away from home, knowing that their families are taken care of and that their loved ones are supporting them from afar makes the separation a little easier

"We've gotten a lot of care packages," said Vang "All of the Soldiers have been getting a lot of love and support from their loved ones and we really appreciate all the love and support that everyone has given us"

To listen to the full interview on Minnesota Military Radio, visit http://minnesotamilitaryradiohourcom/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/MMR-2014-12-11mp3

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