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Colombian Minister of Defense Visits Comfort

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070827-18
Release Date: 8/27/2007 5:34:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/SW) Joshua Karsten, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

BAHIA MALAGA, Colombia (NNS) -- Colombian Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos, toured hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) Aug. 26 while anchored off the coast of Bahia Malaga.

Accompanied by Vice Adm. Guillermo Barrera, Colombian navy chief of naval operations, Santos toured Comfort’s operating rooms, patient wards, casualty and receiving area and visited with patients and medical staff.

Santos said that the help Comfort gave to more than 6,300 people in Colombia so far, in such a short amount of time, was a very impressive feat.

“All I have is words of gratitude from my government and my people,” Santos said. “Every patient I have talked to has been extremely grateful.

Comfort doctors and medical staff are offering primary adult and pediatric medical care, optometry, dentistry and veterinary services at Buenaventura Hospital, Buenaventura Coliseum and the Bahia Malaga naval base. Additionally, construction work is being provided by Seabees of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 to a small village in La Sierpe.

“Simply, another important aspect of our mutual relationship between the United States and Colombia,” Santos said. “Not only with the military help that the United States has been offering, but the humanitarian assistance helps to reaffirm this special bond between the American and Colombian people.”

Colombia is the eighth country Comfort has visited on its four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean.

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