ALMIRANTE, Panama - The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship, USNS Burlington (T-EPF 10), completed the first stop in support of Continuing Promise 2023 in Almirante, Panama, Aug. 17, 2023.
The Continuing Promise team worked collectively with participating host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security and stability in the region, and foster new and enduring partnerships in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
Throughout the remainder of Continuing Promise 2023, the Burlington will visit Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada. The Burlington will bring a medical engagement team to each mission stop to provide direct patient care in community clinics and through host nation medical facilities. The team includes veterinarians who will work with animals in the host nation, biomedical technicians, Navy Seabees who will conduct small engine projects, and the U.S. Fleet Forces Navy Band Detachment who will entertain people through school visits and concerts.
During Burlington’s stop in Almirante, medical personnel saw more than 2,700 patients. Care for these patients included the administration of over 850 vaccinations and the distribution of more than 7,000 prescriptions. The medical team also participated in 14 subject matter expert exchanges. The veterinarian team delivered medical treatment to over 250 dogs and conducted multiple trainings with local K9 law enforcement entities. Continuing Promise mission personnel conducted a two-day workshop for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and shared in Women, Peace and Security initiative events. The team also conducted community relations engagements to restore an outdoor gymnasium with the help from local citizens of Almirante, which took over 30 hours of work to complete. The U.S. Fleet Forces Band hosted six performances to over 850 people. The Seabees completed the restoration of a local clinic with assistance from local volunteers, which took over 75 hours of work to complete.
“It was an honor to work alongside Panamanians in the Bocas del Toro Province to provide medical and veterinary care, assist in reconstruction projects, and learn from each other through professional engagements” said Cmdr. Charles Castevens, the Continuing Promise 2023 mission commander. “This mission not only represents our commitment to goodwill, but also our eagerness to work alongside Panamanian professionals and build long-lasting relationships.”
Continuing Promise 2023 marks the 13th mission to the region since 2007 and the first involving USNS Burlington. The mission will foster goodwill, strengthen existing partnerships with partner nations, and encourage the establishment of new partnerships among countries, non-government organizations, and international organizations.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.
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