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Comfort Hosts U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070920-07
Release Date: 9/20/2007 1:05:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly E. Barnes, USNS Comfort Publis Affairs

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (NNS) -- The U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago toured hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) Sept. 19 during the ship’s humanitarian mission to Port-of-Spain.

Ambassador Roy L. Austin was accompanied by Trinidad and Tobago government and military officials, including the chief of defense staff for Trinidad and Tobago defense force and the commanding officers of Trinidad and Tobago regiment group and the coast guard.

Austin, who was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Oct. 19, 2001, said he is very grateful for Comfort’s presence in the country.

“The whole mission is very impressive,” Austin said. “I’m impressed with what it’s doing for the country and our relationship with the country.”

The chief of defense staff for Trinidad and Tobago defense force, Brig. Gen. Edmund Dillon, echoed Austin’s sentiments about the ship and its mission.

“I’m really impressed with the size and the capabilities of the ship,” Dillon said.

During the tour, Austin visited Comfort’s casualty and receiving area, the operating rooms, the dental department, a patient ward and the intensive care unit where patients recover after surgery..

Austin spoke with crew members and was excited for the opportunity to tour Comfort and help emphasize the countries’ partnership.

“I cannot think of a better mission for the United States to be involved with,” Austin said. “Any time you have something like this, it helps us tremendously.”

Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical assistance to patients in a dozen countries. The deployment is in support of the U.S. Southern Command’s Partnership for the Americas initiative, strengthening the ties between the United States and partner nations.

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