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Surgical Team Makes a Difference
Lt. Col. Arnold Stocker, a certified registered nurse anesthetist with the 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., comforts a young patient prior to administering general anesthesia so a doctor could remove a cyst on his chest. Colonel Stocker was a member of a five-person forward surgical team assigned to Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines. The team spent four months on the southern Filipino island of Jolo operating a fully equipped trauma center, providing emergency care, basic medical care and educational services to hundreds of local citizens and U.S. troops. It is the only treatment center of its kind on the island and is staffed on a rotational basis. During Colonel Stocker's deployment, all five of the team members were from the Air Force. In addition to Colonel Stocker, the team comprised a general surgeon, two physician assistants specially trained in orthopedics and emergency medicine, and one operating room technician.

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