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Ecuador Welcomes USNS Comfort

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070816-07
Release Date: 8/16/2007 11:15:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Karsten, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

MANTA, Ecuador (NNS) -- An opening ceremony was conducted for hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) upon arrival to Manta, Aug. 15.

The ceremony kicked off the start of Comfort’s six-day humanitarian visit to Ecuador providing adult and pediatric medical care, dentistry, optometry and veterinary services as well as construction and repairs in various locations in the Manta area. These sites will include the Angelica Flores, 10 De Agosto, Maruja Cedeno and Luis Teodoro Cantos Schools and Rodriguez Zambrano Hospital.

“Ecuador is the seventh of 12 countries we are visiting and providing assistance to, and we look forward to bringing the skills of the people aboard this unique, first-class ship, to our friends and partners here in Ecuador,” said Capt. Bob Kapcio, Comfort’s mission commander.

The ceremony started with both country’s national anthems played by the U.S. Navy Showband, followed by speeches of partnership and commitment between the two nations from Mayor Ingeniero Jose Zambrano of Manta, Capt. Paul Gallie, manager, International Terminals of Ecuador and Kapcio.

“We are honored to be here in your beautiful country and look forward to getting to know you and helping together to better the lives of the Ecuadorian people,” Kapcio said. “We are here to try and make a difference not just in the short term but in the long term as well. The United States is committed to cooperative partnerships with our friends in this region.”

The ceremony ended with a ceremonial ribbon cutting to commemorate Comfort’s arrival.

Comfort is currently on a four-month humanitarian to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical treatment to a dozen countries.

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