Afghanistan

SAF medical team leaves for Afghanistan

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1. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is sending a five-man medical team to Bamiyan Province in central Afghanistan, from 16 May to 7 August 2007. The SAF personnel will operate as part of the New Zealand Defence Force's (NZDF) Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan. The team's objective is to establish and operate a dental clinic at Bamiyan Hospital. The team will bring specialised equipment, set up the clinic, and provide dental services to the local community. The SAF personnel will also train local Afghan staff to run the clinic on a long-term basis.

2. The SAF and NZDF know each other well, having previously been deployed together in the UN mission in East Timor. The NZDF has operated in Bamiyan Province since 2003. Their personnel have built up a strong foundation of trust with the local community and provincial government.

3. The Chief of Staff (General Staff) Brigadier-General Hugh Lim presented the country patch and state flag to the team on 3 May in a ceremony at Nee Soon Camp. The team was sent off this evening by Commander 3rd Division Brigadier-General Tan Yih San.

4. This humanitarian assistance project is part of Singapore's overall contribution to the international reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.