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Brig. Gen. Helen G. Pratt, the commanding general of 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve, tours East Saint John High School with leaders of the Louisiana Innovative Readiness Training project in Reserve, Louisiana on July 10, 2017. This year's IRT builds mutually beneficial civil-military partnerships between local communities to provide high quality, mission-essential training for service members and their units.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ricardo Davila

Marine Forces Reserve Strengthens Medical Readiness by serving Louisiana Parishes

11 Jul 2017 | Pfc. Melany Vasquez U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

    Marines and sailors from Marine Forces Reserve and service members with the New Mexico and Pennsylvania Air National Guard, are working together to give aid to the residents of Louisiana in Saint John the Baptist Parish, Tangipahoa Parish and Assumption Parish in Louisiana from July 10–24, 2017.
    The 2017 Louisiana Care Innovative Readiness Training team will be providing medical, dental and optometry care at no cost to patients.

    In an effort to assist underserved communities in need, service members are meeting their annual training requirements to address unmet community health and civic needs. 
    “The whole program is no cost to the community and it is allowing us to have our own hands-on training,” said Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia Thomas, the mission non-commissioned officer in charge for 102nd Medical Group in Massachusetts. “We’re working with Delta Regional authorities and the reward at the end of the day is helping fellow Americans; that is why a lot of us joined the medical service.” 
    The teams, which include 100 service members at East Saint John High School, 78 in Tangipahoa and 72 in Assumption, will also conduct mission training and logistical movements to simulate military and civilian humanitarian operations and health care delivery in times of crises, conflict and disaster. 
    “Doing this type of exercise gives us realistic training on how to deploy a large amount of people from all over the country into one region; and it gives us that practice in case of a natural disaster or humanitarian mission,” said Thomas. “Because of this, we are able to provide dental, medical and optometry care with no cost to the community.”  
    IRT Louisiana Care provides an opportunity to demonstrate the unique and expeditious capabilities that Reserve Marines and sailors bring to the fight in a joint environment, while fostering and sustaining relationships within the local community.