USNS Comfort Supports Operation Continuing Promise 2015

USNS Comfort Supports Operation Continuing Promise 2015

By Dialogo
April 13, 2015





The USNS Comfort docked in the Port of Miami in early April ahead of Continuing Promise 2015, a U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) humanitarian mission that will provide medical care for an estimated 130,000 patients in 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

In the next six months, with a diverse crew of approximately 1,000 military and civilian medical, engineering, veterinary, logistics, and marine personnel, the USNS Comfort will visit Belize, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama. Continuing Promise 2015 is the seventh deployment to the region since 2007, and the hospital ship’s fourth (2007, 2009, and 2011).

USNS Comfort is one of two Military Sealift Command hospital ships that can rapidly respond to a range of situations on short notice. It is uniquely capable of providing health services support as an element of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and has been configured to provide a range of services at sea and ashore.

During a press conference at the only U.S. port of call at the Port of Miami, U.S. Navy Captain Sam Hancock, Mission Commander for Continuing Promise 2015, stated that of the 1,000 members on board, several of the staff have already participated in previous Continuing Promise missions. “The last time we participated in the mission was in 2011, and a number of the staff that participated in the exercise then is here today for Continuing Promise 2015.”

Michael Kelley, Executive Director of Strategic Operations at the University of Miami Health Systems, one of the NGOs participating in Continuing Promise 2015, said, “the University of Miami has a great working relationship with the military, including training the forward surgical units for the Army and the other operations. It’s important for us to try to support the military in any way we can.”

He explained that they had been heavily involved in Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery. “During that time, we handled the evacuations to the Comfort immediately following the earthquake there, so we became very interested in working with SOUTHCOM; we established a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on medical missions throughout the region.”

In regards to the ongoing project in Haiti and Continuing Promise 2015, Kelly said, “we plan to support the mission through basically land-based operations like the one in Haiti with Project Medishare, which is part of the University of Miami Global Institute and operates a number of community care programs and a trauma hospital in Port-au-Prince. SOUTHCOM is coordinating with Project Medishare to also help take care of the land-based logistic side of the ship’s operations.”

U.S. Navy Captain Christine Sears, Commanding Officer of the Medical Treatment Facility onboard the Comfort detailed some of the projects that will take place on the mission. “We’re bringing a full complement of our crew many of whom are trained in specific pediatric areas in addition one of our NGO partners, Operation Smile, is bringing a very large contingent to certain countries. Other NGO partners, such as the University of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society, are bringing a very specific cadre for children in addition to our staff.”

“We look forward to partnering with those partner nations to provide primary care, dental care and also education for children and their mothers and families to help elevate their level of care and prevention of diseases as well,” concluded Capt. Sears.

Capt. Hancock added that they anticipate to treat over 130,000 patients, carry out over 800 professional Subject Matter Expert Exchanges covering a wide variety of topics, including medical, veterinarian, engineering, and environmental health topics in addition to building over 20 engineering site projects throughout the upcoming six-month deployment. “Some of the events planned are establishing medical sites at host nation stadiums, hospitals, clinics subject matter exchanges at medical centers, hospitals, and onboard USNS Comfort throughout the mission.”

“These anticipated activities will further enhance the significant impact that the Continuing Promise Mission has had in the region in the past. We look forward to working together with our Central American, South American, and Caribbean partner nations and our non-governmental and private volunteer organization partners to conduct civil military operations including humanitarian civic assistance, foreign disaster relief, and Subject Matter Expert Exchanges as we go throughout our entire deployment,” he concluded.






The USNS Comfort docked in the Port of Miami in early April ahead of Continuing Promise 2015, a U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) humanitarian mission that will provide medical care for an estimated 130,000 patients in 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

In the next six months, with a diverse crew of approximately 1,000 military and civilian medical, engineering, veterinary, logistics, and marine personnel, the USNS Comfort will visit Belize, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama. Continuing Promise 2015 is the seventh deployment to the region since 2007, and the hospital ship’s fourth (2007, 2009, and 2011).

USNS Comfort is one of two Military Sealift Command hospital ships that can rapidly respond to a range of situations on short notice. It is uniquely capable of providing health services support as an element of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and has been configured to provide a range of services at sea and ashore.

During a press conference at the only U.S. port of call at the Port of Miami, U.S. Navy Captain Sam Hancock, Mission Commander for Continuing Promise 2015, stated that of the 1,000 members on board, several of the staff have already participated in previous Continuing Promise missions. “The last time we participated in the mission was in 2011, and a number of the staff that participated in the exercise then is here today for Continuing Promise 2015.”

Michael Kelley, Executive Director of Strategic Operations at the University of Miami Health Systems, one of the NGOs participating in Continuing Promise 2015, said, “the University of Miami has a great working relationship with the military, including training the forward surgical units for the Army and the other operations. It’s important for us to try to support the military in any way we can.”

He explained that they had been heavily involved in Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery. “During that time, we handled the evacuations to the Comfort immediately following the earthquake there, so we became very interested in working with SOUTHCOM; we established a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on medical missions throughout the region.”

In regards to the ongoing project in Haiti and Continuing Promise 2015, Kelly said, “we plan to support the mission through basically land-based operations like the one in Haiti with Project Medishare, which is part of the University of Miami Global Institute and operates a number of community care programs and a trauma hospital in Port-au-Prince. SOUTHCOM is coordinating with Project Medishare to also help take care of the land-based logistic side of the ship’s operations.”

U.S. Navy Captain Christine Sears, Commanding Officer of the Medical Treatment Facility onboard the Comfort detailed some of the projects that will take place on the mission. “We’re bringing a full complement of our crew many of whom are trained in specific pediatric areas in addition one of our NGO partners, Operation Smile, is bringing a very large contingent to certain countries. Other NGO partners, such as the University of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society, are bringing a very specific cadre for children in addition to our staff.”

“We look forward to partnering with those partner nations to provide primary care, dental care and also education for children and their mothers and families to help elevate their level of care and prevention of diseases as well,” concluded Capt. Sears.

Capt. Hancock added that they anticipate to treat over 130,000 patients, carry out over 800 professional Subject Matter Expert Exchanges covering a wide variety of topics, including medical, veterinarian, engineering, and environmental health topics in addition to building over 20 engineering site projects throughout the upcoming six-month deployment. “Some of the events planned are establishing medical sites at host nation stadiums, hospitals, clinics subject matter exchanges at medical centers, hospitals, and onboard USNS Comfort throughout the mission.”

“These anticipated activities will further enhance the significant impact that the Continuing Promise Mission has had in the region in the past. We look forward to working together with our Central American, South American, and Caribbean partner nations and our non-governmental and private volunteer organization partners to conduct civil military operations including humanitarian civic assistance, foreign disaster relief, and Subject Matter Expert Exchanges as we go throughout our entire deployment,” he concluded.


Excellent help to people with fewer resources and a chance to get healthcare from USNS. I wish all the nations would come together for this humanitarian cause and we would have a better planet.. This is a generous act, of love of one's neighbor, unselfishness, to benefit any human being in need, in PERU we need these intelligent people for service and vocation of love for one's neighbor . These opportunities for low-resource people to receive healthcare are a blessing. I hope all the countries could join in, that way we could have more support in everything, in security, in healthcare, education, employment opportunities and Countries without Wars, we want peace love for all. Sending from Peru Good going, don't stop. I hope the world unites like this. Keep it up, many blessings IT IS A SERIOUS AND HONEST NEWSPAPER
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