Resolute Sentinel is a new 12th Air Force-led US Southern Command exercise first held in 2021. It evolved from the longstanding New Horizons and Beyond the Horizons annual joint humanitarian assistance exercises in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Lt. Col. Stephen Murphy, a critical care nurse and the deputy flight commander for the Air Force Reserve’s 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, Minnesota, was one of the reservists taking part. “It was a great experience,” Murphy said. “We were down there to build relationships with the host country, and medical was just the avenue to do that. The big picture goal was to build relationships with the Salvadorians and the smaller picture was the medical education.”
A multi-force exercise with multiple benefits
Resolute Sentinel 22 was a true joint force exercise, incorporating Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines working with foreign national militaries, nongovernmental agencies, local and national government agencies, and US embassies. The operation had a distinct Reserve Component flavor. Of the 883 US military participants, 766 were members of the Reserve Components.
Maj. Brian Assad, another critical care nurse from the 934th ASTS, said being a part of Resolute Sentinel 22 was eye-opening: “To see the level of care they were able to provide with very limited medical resources was the biggest thing for me,” he said. “The people are very smart and they have great programs despite the fact that they don’t have all of the resources we have here in the United States. It was an honor to be able to teach them a few things and learn from them at the same time. The level of cooperation was amazing.”
On the medical side of Resolute Sentinel, more than 7,000 local patients and 15,000 animals were treated in medical engagements. The combat training part featured activities focused on personnel recovery, aeromedical evacuation, combat search and rescue, and parachute operations. In the area of humanitarian and civic assistance, participants completed two Southwest Asia huts, two water wells in Honduras that will service more than 110,000 locals and a clinic in Guatemala.