CASTRIES, Saint Lucia –The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Castries, Saint Lucia, for its eighth medical mission stop in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, Sept. 23.
While in Castries, U.S. service members and medical professionals will work alongside partner and host nation staff to provide medical assistance in communities with urgent health care needs and demonstrate the commitment to strengthen regional medical capacity.
“I am pleased and honored to welcome the opening of the humanitarian mission of the United States Naval Ship Comfort to Saint Lucia,” said Felix St. Hill, Saint Lucia permanent secretary, Department of Health and Wellness. “I am happy to say that this collaborative effort has been met with enthusiasm and great expectation, not only from the patients who will receive care, but also from the large number of agencies who have all participated to make this mission a reality.”
Comfort’s team consists of more than 900 personnel, including medical specialists from the U.S. military, non-governmental organizations volunteers, and personnel from partner nations.
“We are humbled to stand with our partners as we strive to improve public health, strengthen security, and promote prosperity,” said Capt. Brian J. Diebold, commander, Task Force 49. “Comfort isn’t just a symbol of American goodwill, it’s a symbol of the goodwill of the Americas, neighbors helping neighbors, friends helping friends.”
This marks the first Comfort visit to Saint Lucia and the seventh to the region since 2007. The embarked medical teams will provide care aboard Comfort and at two shore-based medical sites.
This mission stop is part of 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.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/NAVSOUS4THFLT, www.dvidshub.net/feature/comfort2019, and www.navy.mil.