USNS Comfort Arrives in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
By Dialogo August 02, 2011
Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, July 28 for its eighth of nine mission stops during Continuing Promise 2011.
USNS Comfort personnel will have a few days of liberty before beginning 10 days of medical, dental, veterinary and engineering services in the country.
The ship’s crew of military and civilian personnel has triaged more than 54,671 patients throughout the entire mission to date.
“We are looking to see 500 to 600 patients at a medical site and the cases are going to be similar to the ones we’ve seen in the previous countries,” said Cmdr. Patrick Young, from Arlington, Texas. “It’s going to be a good visit.”
In addition to medical, dental, and veterinary care, Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 and Marines from the 8th Engineering Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct two civic engineering projects in Costa Rica.
“One of things that I look forward to after the job is done is interacting with kids from the school we just improved for them,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class James Owen. “I hope we finish the scope of the projects early and are able to do something else to help improve the schools. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget.”
Continuing Promise 2011 is a five-month humanitarian civic assistance mission to nine countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, working hand-in-hand with a variety of partner nations, governmental, and non-governmental organizations to train in civil-military operations while providing medical, dental, and veterinary care, and engineering support services to the countries visited.