Operation Arctic Care to return to Kodiak’s villages

Arctic Care, a U.S. military operation that brings medical experts to underserved communities in Alaska, is making its way back to Kodiak this year. The military group is once again partnering with the Kodiak Area Native Association to bring no-cost healthcare to the archipelago’s communities.

Kodiak has a strong military presence, with a Coast Guard Base, an Alaska Army National Guard readiness center, and a former U.S. Navy base. (Brian Venua/KMXT)

Captain David Falcon is the officer in charge of the mission with the Air National Guard. He was on KMXT’s public affairs show, Talk of the Rock, on Mar. 5. Falcon said Operation Arctic Care is their way of serving communities while also training. 

“It’s a way for us to get out of our home station base and provide care, deliver that care to a community that can use it, while simulating that environment that helps us get that training,” he said. 

The two-week long mission to the archipelago will bring medical services like dentists, doctors, optometrists, even veterinarians to the villages off of Kodiak’s road system. The last time Arctic Care served those communities was in 2022. 

Falcon said while they’re visiting communities, the team will make sure civilians are well cared for and act similar to how they would when responding to events like natural disasters.

“Our trained professionals are going to be working in a deployed environment, austere conditions,” he said. “Usually sleeping community style on a cot, receiving their meals through sustained services through our respective branch.”

The team will also host classes to teach community members how to perform basic things like stopping bleeding. 

KANA will host Arctic Care starting on May 8 and the team will provide services until they leave on May 22.

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