Operation Arctic Care '04
Dr. Hibbs spent his two week Navy Reserve duty participating in Operation Arctic Care '04 from April 24 to May 7, 2004.
Operation Arctic Care is a joint military exercise involving all branches of the service, their reserves and the National Guard. They team up with local health organizations to provide medical care for native Alaskans, and valuable 'real world' training for military medical teams.
April, 2004 saw Arctic Care centered in Kotzebue (picture above), with over 150 doctors, nurses, medical specialists and support members giving care to patients in Kotzebue and eleven outlying Inupiat Eskimo fishing villages, in locations such as Kivilina (where Dr. Hibbs was stationed), Point Hope, and Selawik to name a few.
Operation Arctic Care is an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) exercise. That is, military members are allowed to support civilian authorities provided it provides valuable training for members and units. Operation Arctic Care allows medical teams to see real patients and treat real symptoms. In addition to basic medical care, teams also provide dental, optometry and even veterinary assistance.
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