Ecuadorean Minister of Defense Visits USNS Comfort

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Keith Wilson, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs | 29 October 2018

International Relations

U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Todd C. Chapman (center-left) and Ecuadorean Minister of Defense Oswaldo Jarrin (center-right) are escorted during an opening ceremony at one of two medical sites in Ecuador. The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. (Photo: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)

As part of its partnership with Ecuador, the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) hosted officials from the government of Ecuador during the ship’s medical assistance visit, October 22, 2018. Ecuadorean Minister of Defense Oswaldo Jarrin, and U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Todd C. Chapman were among the distinguished visitors aboard Comfort for a tour of the ship’s medical facilities and a meeting with senior leadership.

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Sean S. Buck, commander of U.S. 4th Fleet, delivers remarks at a press conference aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). (Photo: U.S. Army Cpl. Javan Johnson)

Both officials made remarks along with U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Sean Buck, commander of U.S. 4th Fleet, during a press conference held aboard the ship. “The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort begins its medical support for the people of Ecuador, our first mission stop of five, over an 11-week period, here, in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Rear Adm. Buck. “Working with health and government partners in Ecuador, the embarked medical team will provide care onboard this ship, as well as at two sites ashore.”

Ecuadorian Minister of Defense Oswald Jarrin speaks during the opening ceremony at one of two medical sites in Ecuador. (Photo: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)

During the conference, Ecuadorean officials and Rear Adm. Buck discussed Comfort’s mission in Ecuador. “This deployment represents the United States’ enduring promise to the peoples of Ecuador and other Latin American nations of our friendship, our partnership and our solidarity,” added Rear Adm. Buck. “This mission will enable us to strengthen ties in support of our enduring partnerships with the people of Central and South America. It is a partnership that will enhance our shared values, interests, and community, and a commitment to unity, security and stability in the region.”

Comfort is on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. Working with health and government partners in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Honduras, the embarked medical team will provide care on board and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems caused partly by an increase in cross-border migrants. The deployment reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with the Americas.

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