NORFOLK, VA –
(Dec. 21, 2022) Norfolk, Va. — A Canadian medical team embedded with Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived at Naval Station Norfolk following a scheduled deployment to U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of Continuing Promise 2022, Dec. 21.
During the mission, the Canadian medical personnel and Comfort’s medical teams provided treatment to thousands of patients in Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Haiti. The teams also completed humanitarian assistance and disaster relief projects and community relations engagements.
Military medical specialists, to include physicians, surgeons, dentists and nurses, embarked Comfort to staff the military treatment facility in every facet of health care.
During Continuing Promise 2022, the embarked medical team from Canada showcased the international maritime partnership and integration that the U.S. and Canadian militaries routinely strive to improve.
“Our Canadian allies have been a crucial part of our team throughout Continuing Promise 2022,” said Capt. Kathryn Elliott, Comfort’s commanding officer. “They integrated seamlessly with our staff to provide high-quality medical and dental care to thousands of people in five partner nations. Their participation helped build and strengthen relationships throughout the region and the mission would not have been the same without them.”
The U.S. Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy in particular, regularly exercise and integrate teams at all levels of naval warfare, and this is the latest example of the continued partnership and interoperability between both navies.
“Deployments like this give members of the Canadian Armed Forces unique opportunities to work together with our U.S. military allies in medical and operational settings that are not readily available in Canada,” said Rear Adm. Steve Waddell, deputy commander, Royal Canadian Navy. “While this is one example of where members of Canadian and U.S. forces work together with ease in a maritime environment, other occasions arise on a regular basis."
Canadian Rear Adm. David Patchell, vice commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, met with the medical team aboard Comfort upon their arrival to Naval Station Norfolk.
"Our partnerships are a bedrock of maritime security in the Western Hemisphere, and this year alone our navies interoperated and integrated in the Atlantic and Arctic, strengthening our bond as geographical neighbors and close allies,” Patchell said. “This fall I had the opportunity to embark HMCS Montreal when she integrated into the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, and I was proud to see how seamlessly our nations worked together
Earlier in the year, U.S. 2nd Fleet embarked Fleet Surgical Teams aboard HMCS Margaret Brooke during Operation NANOOK 2022. Op NANOOK is the Canadian Armed Force’s signature northern operation comprised of a series of comprehensive activities designed to exercise the defense of Canada and to secure its northern region.
U.S. 2nd Fleet, reestablished in 2018 in response to the changing global security environment, develops and employs maritime forces ready to fight across multiple domains in the Atlantic and Arctic in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.