USNS Comfort Completes Humanitarian Mission in Dominican Republic
By Dialogo May 06, 2009The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) raised anchor and departed Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 2. Santo Domingo was Comfort´s second stop in support of Continuing Promise 2009 (CP09) – a four-month humanitarian and civic assistance mission to Latin America and the Caribbean region. "We are very pleased with the results of our team work in providing medical services to many Dominicans," said Navy Capt. Bob Lineberry, CP09 mission commander. "We have continued to build on our already strong relationship and enhanced our ability to continue to work together to build a better future for all." During their time in Dominican Republic, the medical staff on board Comfort saw 11,050 patients, performed 206 surgical operations, filled 18,608 prescriptions, distributed 2,972 pairs of glasses, conducted 5,508 dental services and performed more than 8,000 veterinary services. "Our CP09 mission has been successful this year due to the outstanding support and leadership from the Dominican Armed Forces, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture," said Lineberry. Navy Seabees aboard Comfort spent more than 100 hours building a 900-square-foot refrigerated storage room for the National Reference Laboratory that will be used for blood storage and a 15-by-15-foot classroom at the Otto Martinez schoolhouse. During a closing ceremony held at the Dominican Republic Military Headquarters May 1, Maj. Gen. Carlos Altuna Tezanos, head of the Dominican Army, thanked Lineberry, Navy Capt. James Ware, commanding officer of the hospital aboard Comfort, and the crew of the ship for their hard work and dedication. In turn, Lineberry thanked Tezanos for his cooperation and assistance in bringing Comfort to the people of Dominican Republic. "It has been an honor to work side-by-side with our Dominican friends, Ministry of Health, and local medical professionals to provide medical, dental, veterinary, engineering and educational services to many people in the Santo Domingo area," said Lineberry. "As humanitarians we are committed to serve others and to provide accessible medical treatment for those in need. This is an essential in building a safer and more prosperous Americas for all."