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USNS Comfort Deploys In Support of Continuing Promise 2015

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150331-22
Release Date: 3/31/2015 2:13:00 PM

From U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is set to deploy from Norfolk, Virginia, this week to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) from April through October 2015.

During CP-15's mission, USNS Comfort will visit Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic , El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Panama.

'Just as in previous years' missions, the goal is to increase unity, security and stability by fostering strong partnerships and working as a team to improve the lives of thousands of men, women and children from these countries,' said Rear Adm. George Ballance, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. 'Continuing Promise focuses on real people with real needs. Working alongside local government officials and medical professionals from each of the host nations as well as volunteers from non-governmental agencies, our teams will work to meet the day-to-day needs of communities and prepare to respond together in disaster relief.'

CP-15 is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO)/ U.S. 4th Fleet (FOURTHFLT) conducted deployment, focused on civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support, and disaster response to partner nations.

USNS Comfort, a Military Sealift Command (MSC) operated ship, will carry more than 1000 U.S. Navy, partner nation and non-governmental agency (NGO) personnel to each country. This year's mission includes more than 50 NGOs, a marked increase in global participation compared to previous years' missions.

CP-15 participants will work alongside local government officials and medical professionals from the host nation to meet the day-to-day needs of communities and assist in natural disaster responsiveness.

USNS Comfort's shipboard hospital, the Military Treatment Facility (MTF), is configured with specialized medical equipment and staffed by a multi-specialty medical team of uniformed and civilian health care providers to offer a range of services ashore as well as on board the ship.

During CP-15, an estimated 104,000 patients will be seen; more than 400 subject matter expert exchanges will take place, covering medical, veterinary, engineering and environmental health topics; and more than 20 engineering and building site projects will be completed. Hundreds of surgeries will be performed by teams of specialized medical personnel from the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and various NGOs.

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