By BUMED PAO
The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) returned to its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia on Friday, November 15 after five months underway providing medical assistance in 12 partner nations across South and Central America and the Caribbean.
More than 600 Navy Medicine professionals embarked to bring the hospital ship platform to its full operational capacity for the deployment. The teams included specialties ranging from preventative medicine and basic medical treatment all the way to medical, optical and dental surgical teams.
In addition to being able to help more than 65,000 patients in the 12 nations visited, the deployment offered an opportunity to work with partner nation health ministries as well as additional medical personnel on board the ship from the Army, Air Force, partner nations and non-governmental organizations.
“As a maritime nation engaged in a global power competition, your unique expeditionary medical expertise and exceptional efforts opened doors and built partnerships that enhanced Readiness through Global Health Engagement,” said Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, U.S. Navy Surgeon General, in a message to the returning teams. “I can think of no finer example of a unit that brought Navy Medicine’s priorities into action: Well-trained People, working as cohesive teams on optimized Platforms, demonstrating high velocity Performance that will project Medical Power in support of Maritime Superiority.”
The mission also ensured the readiness of Navy Medicine personnel to perform at a high level while deployed and the hospital ship as a platform to support military personnel medical needs and survivability, should the ship ever be called on to support combat operations.
During the deployment, USNS Comfort conducted mission stops in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.
For more information on the activities of the USNS Comfort Deployment 2019, check out the NavyLive blog on the deployment here: https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/06/25/enduring-promise-usns-comfort-deployment-2019/