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Comfort Hosts U.S., Canadian Diplomats in Colombia

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070828-15
Release Date: 8/28/2007 3:53:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Jones, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) hosted a group of distinguished guests and media during its visit to the Buenaventura, Colombia area Aug. 27.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d' Affaires Brian A. Nichols, boarded the ship along with his Canadian counterpart, William Farrell, and several officials including the commander of the Colombian military forces. The group toured the ship and met with senior Comfort leadership to discuss the progress and success of Comfort’s humanitarian mission in Colombia.

To illustrate Comfort’s work in the coastal region, the party also toured the Buenaventura Coliseum primary care site, the front line for Comfort doctors and medical staff.

Nichols said the medical attention provided by Comfort’s crew is helping the Colombian people and at the same time is strengthening cultural and political bridges between the United States and Colombia.

“All of this is a huge advantage for the Colombian people,” said Nichols. “Comfort is providing first-class services here and at the same time is helping to spread our message of cooperation with Colombia.”

Comfort’s Mission Commander, Capt. Bob Kapcio, praised the U.S. Embassy in Bogota and the Colombian military for their continued support throughout the duration of the hospital ship’s operations in Colombia.

“Our friends, the U.S. Embassy and the Colombian military, have played an important role in providing support to this mission in Colombia,” said Kapcio. “They have worked tirelessly side-by-side with U.S. military personnel to ease all facets here, and gone above and beyond to promote our Partnership for the America’s initiative with Colombia.”

Comfort’s four-month humanitarian deployment has already brought the Mercy-class hospital ship to eight Latin American countries and provided life-changing medical assistance to thousands of under-privileged citizens of some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

The ship will continue its mission throughout October, visiting the partner nations of Guyana, Haiti, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

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