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Joint optometry team gives warfighters clarity

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry officer in charge, performs an eye exam for a U.S. Soldier March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar. Carra and Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th EMDG optometry NCO in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry officer in charge, performs an eye exam for a U.S. Soldier March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar. Carra and Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th EMDG optometry NCO in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Army Spc. Justin Jones, 354th Medical Company Logistics Support optical laboratory specialist, 8th Medical Brigade, Area Support Group - Qatar, fabricates lenses for glasses March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. Jones is part of a team that grinds and frames glasses from data provided by a U.S. Air Force optometry team from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Army Spc. Justin Jones, 354th Medical Company Logistics Support optical laboratory specialist, 8th Medical Brigade, Area Support Group - Qatar, fabricates lenses for glasses March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. Jones is part of a team that grinds and frames glasses from data provided by a U.S. Air Force optometry team from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Army Spc. Justin Jones, 354th Medical Company Logistics Support optical laboratory specialist, 8th Medical Brigade, Area Support Group - Qatar, fabricates lenses for glasses March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. Jones is part of a team that grinds and frames glasses from data provided by a U.S. Air Force optometry team from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Army Spc. Justin Jones, 354th Medical Company Logistics Support optical laboratory specialist, 8th Medical Brigade, Area Support Group - Qatar, fabricates lenses for glasses March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. Jones is part of a team that grinds and frames glasses from data provided by a U.S. Air Force optometry team from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry officer in charge, performs an eye exam for a U.S. Soldier March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar. Carra and Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th EMDG optometry NCO in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry officer in charge, performs an eye exam for a U.S. Soldier March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar. Carra and Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th EMDG optometry NCO in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, right, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge from Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB), Qatar, conducts an eye exam for a U.S. Army Soldier as U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge, documents data March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar. Moore and Carra travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, right, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge from Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB), Qatar, conducts an eye exam for a U.S. Army Soldier as U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge, documents data March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar. Moore and Carra travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, center left, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, left, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge from Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB), Qatar, talk with U.S. Army optical laboratory specialists of Area Support Group - Qatar (ASG-QA) from Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar, prior to a patient appointment March 9, 2019, at CAS. Moore and Carra travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, center left, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, left, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge from Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB), Qatar, talk with U.S. Army optical laboratory specialists of Area Support Group - Qatar (ASG-QA) from Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar, prior to a patient appointment March 9, 2019, at CAS. Moore and Carra travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, conducts an eye exam on a U.S. Army Soldier March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. Moore and Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, conducts an eye exam on a U.S. Army Soldier March 9, 2019, at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. Moore and Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Army Capt. Clark Lomboy, left, Area Support Group - Qatar (ASG-QA) family nurse practitioner from Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge from Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB), Qatar, discuss patient appointment information March 9, 2019, at CAS. Moore and Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

U.S. Army Capt. Clark Lomboy, left, Area Support Group - Qatar (ASG-QA) family nurse practitioner from Camp As Sayliyah (CAS), Qatar, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) optometry NCO in charge from Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB), Qatar, discuss patient appointment information March 9, 2019, at CAS. Moore and Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th EMDG optometry officer in charge, travel to CAS once a week to provide eye care for Soldiers who, in turn, fabricate glasses prescribed for Airmen at AUAB and servicemembers at other deployed locations throughout U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar --

U.S. Airmen at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar and U.S. Soldiers at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, combine optometry capabilities to ensure servicemembers across U.S. Central Command are able to focus on their mission.

Once a week, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group optometry officer in charge, and Tech. Sgt. Marquita Moore, 379th EMDG optometry NCO in charge, travel from AUAB to CAS to perform eye exams alongside their U.S. Army counterparts of Area Support Group – Qatar.

Carra and Moore provide Soldiers at CAS eye exams, physicals and referrals to ensure their optometry needs are met while deployed.

“You need your eyes for everything,” Carra said “In order to do your job, whether it’s shooting, operating a computer, driving a truck or providing medical care, you have to see what you’re doing. We have services that allow our members to get to 20/20. Just having that extra advantage and sharpness gives you that extra capability that strengthens the mission.”

While Carra and Moore handle prescriptions, U.S. Army optical laboratory specialists handle the creation of glasses for patients throughout U.S. Central Command, grinding and shaping lenses on site to fit individual needs.

“We scratch each other’s back,” said U.S. Army Spc. Carlos Rodriguez, Area Support Group - Qatar optical laboratory specialist. “They come over here to CAS and they give everyone their prescriptions and I make all their orders. I’m helping them out and they’re taking time out of their schedule to help the Army out.”

Carra said the Army’s ability to create lenses the same day prescriptions are written saves time, enabling servicemembers to operate with rapid efficiency.

“At Al Udeid we don’t have the ability to grind lenses,” said Carra. “We can do all the ordering and testing back at the base, but here is where the rubber hits the road. They’re basically cutting the lenses, taking the prescription blanks, putting them into the frames people choose and then delivering them back to us.”

Carra said the teamwork is a step in the right direction toward future joint medical interoperability.

“The Army’s been great. They’ve been super welcoming and very accommodating,” said Carra. “During this deployment I’ve had that opportunity to work with the Army to see some of the forms they use, see some of their programs and specialties, and I think it’s a really good step to one day having a more united medical service.”