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U.S. Air Force Operates, Air Evacs Polish K-9
TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - Edy, a 5-year-old German Sheppard with the Polish Army, rests before his surgery Nov. 16. After his operation he was air evacuated to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, by way of Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Edy and his handler, Corporal Daniel Bieganski, just finished a six-month deployment to Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Afghanistan. The two have been together for two years. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Nathan Bevier)
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 Polish K-9 passes at Bagram AB following surgery - 11/17/2010
U.S. Air Force Operates, Air Evacs Polish K-9

Posted 11/16/2010   Updated 11/17/2010 Email story   Print story


Release Number: 011110

11/16/2010 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- A patrol dog assigned to the Polish Army had surgery at the Transit Center's clinic at about 10 a.m. Nov. 16 and will be air evacuated to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, by way of Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, within the next 24 hours.

Edy, a 5-year-old German Sheppard, had difficulty exercising at the kennel with his handler of two years, Polish Corporal Daniel Bieganski. The team had just arrived here Nov. 12 following a six-month deployment to Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Afghanistan, as part of the Coalition effort to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

The handler sought medical attention right away when he noticed Edy's abdomen didn't appear normal and that he was very weak. The Transit Center's veterinarian, U.S. Army Dr. (Capt.) Raghavan Sampathkumaran, credits this to how well Edy is recovering from surgery thus far.

At the clinic, x-rays confirmed the veterinarian's suspicion that Edy's stomach was twisted and he needed surgery right away - otherwise tissue would begin to die because of the lack of blood supply.

U.S. Air Force Dr. (Maj.) Steve Chen, the surgeon for the Transit Center, performed the two-hour surgery. This was the surgeon's first-ever surgery on a canine. He untwisted Edy's stomach and pumped out some partially digested food and fluids before the stomach was sutured to the abdominal wall to help prevent it from twisting again in the future.

The prognosis is good provided there are no complications for the next 10 hours - the most critical time of the recovery. Edy should be walking in about 48 hours, said Capt. Sampathkumaran.

According to Polish Lt. Col. Mariusz Pasieka, liaison officer deployed to the Transit Center, Poland has served in Afghanistan since 2005. As Poland withdrew from Operation Iraqi Freedom, they've increased support for Operation Enduring Freedom. About 2,500 Polish Air Force, Army, Military Policemen, seven dog handler teams and other military units are continuously deployed to Afghanistan for six-month deployment rotations. In the course of two months this fall, 5,000 Polish service members and 14 working dog teams transitioned through the Transit Center at Manas.

"This is just one example of the level of support the Transit Center provides to our coalition forces as they travel through the installation," said Col. Sharon Bannister, 376th Expeditionary Medical Group commander. "I'm proud of the Transit Center members, the surgical team and the entire clinic and the care they gave this soldier."

Colonel Pasieka, Corporal Bieganski and Edy are among the last four Polish service members returning home this deployment rotation.

Editor's Note: This article was also translated into Polish and released by Lt. Col. Mariusz Pasieka.

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