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News | Aug. 30, 2023

Continuing Promise 2023 Concludes in Santa Marta, Colombia

By Lt.j.g. Nickolas West, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet

SANTA MARTA, Colombia -- The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship, USNS Burlington (T-EPF 10), completed its second stop in Santa Marta, Colombia, Aug. 30, 2023 in support of the Continuing Promise 2023 (CP23) mission.

The Continuing Promise 2023 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 friendships in Caribbean, Central and South American region. Throughout the remainder of Continuing Promise 2023, the Burlington will visit Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. The Burlington will bring a medical engagement team to each mission stop to provide some 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 engineering projects, and the U.S. Fleet Forces Navy Band Detachment, which will entertain people through school visits and concerts.

During Burlington’s stop in Santa Marta, medical personnel saw more than 3,800 patients, including the administration of over 850 vaccinations, and the distribution of more than 7,500 prescriptions. The medical team also participated in 55 subject matter expert exchanges. The veterinarian team delivered medical treatment to over 200 animals and conducted multiple trainings with local K9 law enforcement entities. CP23 conducted a two day workshop for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and shared in Women, Peace and Security initiative events. U.S. Navy Biomedical Equipment Repair team also worked alongside Colombian military personnel to repair over $200,000 worth of medical equipment. The U.S. Fleet Forces Band hosted three performances and seven engagements in Santa Marta, Colombia to over 1,600 people. The U.S. Navy Seabees worked to repaint a local school and hospital culminating a total of 180 man hours.

“The experiences we've shared have enriched our understanding of each other's medical practices, cultures, and ways of life.” said CDR Charles Castevens, Continuing Promise 2023 Mission Commander. “The knowledge and insights gained from working alongside Colombia's medical professionals within local communities will undoubtedly serve as stepping stones towards a brighter and healthier tomorrow for all of us."

Continuing Promise 2023 marks the 13th mission to the region since 2007 and the first involving USNS Burlington. The mission will also 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.

Learn more about USNAVSOUTH/4th Fleet at, and @NAVSOUS4THFLT. Learn
more about USNAVSOUTH/4th Fleet at and @NAVSOUS4THFLT