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United States Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa held the European-African Military Nursing Exchange conference, May 9-11, at Ramstein Air Base.

The conference hosted delegates from military sister services and military delegations from Botswana, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

The EAMNE conference featured talks centered on its theme “Strength through Resilience,” examining quality of life and resiliency tools for the military health care providers, as well as hands-on training scenarios with military experts in a variety of techniques and equipment. Attendees listened to firsthand accounts of strength while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and practice techniques like pelvic binder application, intubation, and chest pressure relief.

“When we work together, we grow together,” said Col. Steven Lehr, USAFE-AFAFRICA command surgeon. “These conferences give us the opportunity to come together to share ideas and best practices not just amongst our sister services, but also with our Allies and Partners.”

Since the first iteration in 2014, EAMNE has produced tangible outcomes underscoring the importance of partnerships and how militaries from various nations collaborate. Notably, Poland purchased a USAFE-AFAFRICA-developed Isolation Negatively Pressured Conex-Light. The “Conex” is a mobile unit that aids in the air transport of patients who require isolation.

Brig Gen. Zuziwe Maso, South African Military Health Service’s director of nursing, indicated that the biggest benefit, for her, is the collaboration and ideas shared throughout the conference and interactions with partner nations.

“There is so much value in the exchange of knowledge, information and experiences,” Maso said. “Our practical environment is such that we need to share whatever is new in the development of nursing. For instance, one of the talks suggested providing social guarantees for nurses ensuring their families are taken care of in the event the mission compromises their lives.”

The EAMNE targets the formation of partnerships and fosters a sharing culture among partners and Allies. It remains at the forefront of USAFE-AFAFRICA’s priorities of readiness, posture, people, and partnerships.

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