AMISOM TCC and 407th BN conclude week-long Military Veterinary Conference
Veterinarians from Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda gathered together with the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Team following the conclusion of a week-long AMISOM Military Veterinary Conference held Oct. 20-24, 2014.
(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Allison Pittam)
Veterinarians from Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda shared best practices and exchanged information during a week-long AMISOM Military Veterinary Conference held by the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Team Oct. 20-24, 2014.
The purpose of the engagement was to create a forum where AMISOM veterinarians could meet and exchange information on topics relevant to canine medicine, Military Working Dog program management and medical and laboratory skills relevant to veterinary medicine in East Africa.
For Maj Marion Amulyoto, Kenya Defense Forces senior Veterinary Medical officer, the conference was about building relationships.
“This conference has given all of us from AMISOM the chance to meet vets that we would have not met before and may not have had the chance to meet,” said Maj. Amulyoto. “If not for this conference, I don’t think I would have met a Military Working Dog vet from Uganda or Djibouti or Burundi. Now I have a brother across the border where if I have any issues as an east African vet I can work with someone from another country who I have met and can contact.”
The conference was also an opportunity for the 407th BN to learn about veterinary medicine from the AMISOM attendees.
“It greatly benefits us to learn from their experience and increase our knowledge of preventable diseases that can be encountered in our area of operation,” said Maj. Leah Tingley, 407th civil affairs veterinary medical officer. “The conference has significantly improved interoperability and communication between AMISOM vets and U.S. Forces through sharing of information.”
During the week-long conference, AMISOM and 407th veterinarians also conducted physical exams of the working dogs and compared laboratory analysis methods.
“Sharing best practices with AMISOM vets also benefits the MWD Program,” explained Tingley. “The conference allowed us to exchange information on diseases common in the deployed environment and learn appropriate responses for prevention and treatment.”
The conference ended with a tour of the MWD kennel and gave the AMISOM veterinarians a chance to learn about program management standards for care and training of Military Working Dogs. After a visit to the kennel, the group headed outside to meet U.S. Navy Master at Arms 2nd Class Ian Stephenson, Camp Lemonnier Security Forces and his Military Working Dog, Rex to see a demonstration of a working dog in action.
“It is good to learn a successful military working dog program and to have a chance to see what the dogs can do,” said Maj. Amulyoto. “This conference has had a big impact on me and the friendship goes beyond the personal level; it goes to a national level.”