Alaska Guardsman Leads the Way in Mongolian Medical Outreach Project
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – A humble and unassuming man, Staff Sgt. Joshua Clark, medical readiness non-commissioned officer, 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, Alaska Army National Guard, worked diligently Aug. 14 to keep the Medical Humanitarian Civic Action Outreach Project running smoothly and efficiently during Khaan Quest 12, while providing a firsthand view of the exercise to Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.
Khaan Quest is a regularly scheduled, multinational exercise sponsored by the U.S. Army, Pacific and hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces. Khaan Quest 12 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security. This exercise marks the tenth anniversary of this regionally significant training event.
The medical clinic has been set up in an elementary school in a dusty neighborhood of Ulaanbaatar. Outside, a line of approximately 300 people stood waiting for their turn to be seen by the medical providers. Inside, the halls of the school building were bustling with children, the elderly and people of all ages in between. Their ailments varied, but one certain thing was common among them – they were grateful for the services being provided to them.
In the middle of all the commotion stood Clark at the controls of the flow, as the non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the clinic. He directed a staff of Mongolian, U.S. and various multinational personnel who are working to keep everything flowing so the physicians working in the rooms can see patients at a steady pace.
Clark is no stranger to leadership roles. In 2003, he was a team leader in the 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza, Italy, when they made the last U.S. combat jump to date into northern Iraq.
“It was a peaceful landing, but it was still scary,” Clark explained. “It was a 500 ft. jump.”
When Clark left active duty service with the Army and joined the Alaska Army National Guard, he also changed jobs, becoming a medic. At the clinic in Ulaanbaatar, he was responsible for making sure all the contracts were done prior to the mission. These contracts included things like transportation, food, showers, laundry, getting the providers to the location, and ordering medications and supplies.