A doctor from the region leaves today to run the army hospital at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
Colonel Ben Banerjee is a surgeon at Sunderland Royal Hospital but is also a member of the Territorial Army.
Civilians provide additional cover to the armed forces during times of conflict and Sunderland Royal has allowed four of its surgeons on tours of duty - a large commitment from one hospital.
You can watch the full report from Julia Barthram below.
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