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News | Aug. 20, 2019

Comfort Arrives in Colombia to Provide Medical Assistance

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Kryzentia Richards

SANTA MARTA, Colombia – The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Colombia for its fifth medical mission in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, Aug. 18.

While in port, a joint team of U.S. and partner nation service members and non-governmental organization civilians will work alongside host nation specialists to provide medical assistance to help relieve pressure on the health system strained by the Venezuelan migration crisis.

“Delivering medical care to a large number of people in such a short amount of time is an enormous undertaking,” said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Dean, one of the two temporary medical treatment site officers-in-charge. “Having the support of our partner nation counterparts makes the experience both possible and rewarding.” 

The Comfort team consists of more than 900 personnel including military, non-governmental organization volunteers and personnel from partner nations.

“We have worked closely with the U.S. embassy and Santa Marta’s Ministry of Health to bring the very best in humanitarian and civic assistance to the people of Santa Marta,” said Capt. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer, USNS Comfort. “We're doing something really important here, and I'm excited be a part of bringing this opportunity to Santa Marta on this next leg of our mission.” 

This marks the sixth Comfort visit to Colombia and the seventh to the region since 2007. The embarked medical teams will provide care aboard Comfort and at two land-based medical sites. 

This mission stop is part of the U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative and reflects the United States’ ongoing commitment to friendship, partnership, and solidarity with partner nations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

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