The USNS hospital ship Comfort has embarked on its seventh humanitarian mission to the 4th Fleet’s area of operations as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Continuing Promise 2022 mission.
The ship is slated to visit Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Haiti to work with partner nation medical personnel issuing care aboard the ship and at land-based medical sites. The goal is to “increase medical readiness, strengthen partnerships, and enhance the combined capabilities of the U.S. Navy and partner nations,” the service said.
The Comfort left Norfolk Oct. 19, and stopped at Port Miami to retrieve supplies before departing Florida on Sunday for the 4th Fleet.
“No mission better demonstrates our enduring commitment to the region as we work collaboratively with like-minded nations to ensure a secure, free, and prosperous hemisphere,” Rear Adm. Jim Aiken, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, said in a Navy news release in August when the deployment was announced.
“Today, more than ever, our fates are inextricably linked in the Western Hemisphere,” Aiken said. “Continuing Promise provides valuable training for U.S. and partner nation personnel to learn from each other and to work side by side to improve the medical readiness of our neighborhood while also collectively being prepared to meet regional challenges.”
Additionally, the Comfort and its crew will administer expeditionary veterinary care, training on medical and humanitarian assistance issues, and seminars on women, peace and security matters.
Since 2007, the Continuing Promise mission has treated 582,000 patients and carried out more than 7,000 surgeries in the area.
“I’m excited to work with such an enthusiastic and professional medical team,” Capt. Kathryn Elliott, commanding officer of the Comfort, said in a Navy news release. “This is the Comfort’s seventh deployment in support of Continuing Promise, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to work with our partner nations, exchange knowledge, and provide assistance to those in need, furthering the lasting legacy of the Continuing Promise mission.”