The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday April 1st

UNC system, Marines to partner

The UNC system is taking another step to strengthen its ties with the military.

UNC-system President Erskine Bowles will sign an agreement with the U.S. Marines Corps Forces Special Operations Command and Marine Corps Installations East today to cement a partnership between the two groups.

This partnership is similar to the one launched in November 2009 between the UNC system and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

That partnership allowed the Army to use UNC-system resources to train and teach military personnel.

The partnership will be signed at the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., according to a press release from the Marines Special Operations Command.

This agreement will allow the Marine Corps to use UNC-system resources to enhance its training programs.

They are placing a particular emphasis on the Performance and Resiliency program, which will help deployed Marines handle harsh combat conditions.

UNC-system officials are hopeful that the new partnership will be as successful as the one with the Army.

One of the premier collaborations with the Army is the combat medic training program, which allows trained military personnel to come to UNC-Chapel Hill and work in specialized areas such as burns and surgery that benefit troops stationed in remote settings, said Charles Cairns, professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine at UNC-CH.

“Ideally, special operations’ medics would provide health care provisions in foreign nations,” Cairns said. “We hope to provide unique educational resources for them and develop this brand new area of medicine that they created, which I call situational medicine.”

So far, the response to the Army partnership has been positive, said Kimrey Rhinehardt, vice president of federal relations for the UNC system and the one overseeing both partnerships on the UNC system side.

“They have been asked to do more than they ever have, for less,” she said. “But no one has complained. They are trying to make a difference in their own world and try to keep as many Americans safe as possible.”

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