Dental patriots caring for Patriot mission soldiers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The Patriot missile batteries brought with them U.S., German and Dutch soldiers, which increased the number of military forces at Incirlik with approximately 400 personnel. With more personnel comes a greater potential for more people to become sick or have any number of medical needs to include dental issues.

This is where the 39th Medical Group dental clinic came into play.

"We perform emergency and sick call appointments for all NATO armies involved with the Patriot mission," said Capt. Jason Schoener, 39th Medical Operations Squadron dentist. "Things happen such as fracturing a tooth, losing a filling, or any other oral-facial trauma that occurs while being deployed, and that's where we come in. We are here to take care of all of our NATO troops."

The dental clinic has treated roughly 18 foreign NATO military members and 24 U.S. Army soldiers attached to the Patriot mission, providing more than $10,800 dollars in direct dental care, Schoener said.

Due to the dental clinic being able to provide care for NATO members it saves not only money, but time as well.

"Because we are able to provide emergency care to all NATO members, U.S., Dutch, and, German dentists have not needed to deploy," Schoener said. "At the same time, NATO soldiers do not need to be sent back to their country for treatment since they can receive it at our facility here in Turkey."

For those who require dental care here, the dental office helps them get back to the mission at hand, said Airman 1st Class Yoon Lee 39th MDOS dental technician.

"I helped relieve dental pain for soldiers involved in the Patriot mission," Lee said. "The soldiers in pain are distracted from the mission, so we get them back on track."

The experiences that come with aiding the NATO soldiers was just like assisting Airmen from the wing said Yoon.

"Two years ago as a dental student in Virginia, I never would have imagined treating US, Dutch, and German soldiers in Turkey," Schoener said. "This is why I joined the Air Force as a dentist to treat our deployed members and help support the mission."