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.
More top news
Paul Brand and guests - including new North East MPs Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Anna Turley - discuss the Labour/Lib Dem leadership campaigns.
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
Health services that dealt with a double murderer should have identified the probability that he would re-offend