Watch: Overview of USNS Comfort mission to Latin America 2018
The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Oct. 10 en route to South America and Central America where it conducted an 11-week medical assistance mission working closely with host-nation health and government partners in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Honduras. The purpose of the deployment was to help relieve pressure on host nation medical systems partly due to an increase in migrants crossing their borders and provide care to the appropriate communities.
The ship’s crew included more than 200 U.S. and partner nation military doctors, nurses, and technicians. In addition, about 60 medical and dental professional volunteers from non-governmental organizations were on board to support the medical assistance mission. They were joined by a smaller team of civil service mariners who oversaw the ship’s operation and navigation.
During the mission, USNS Comfort visited Esmeraldas, Ecuador; Paita, Peru; Riohacha and Turbo in Colombia; and Puerto Castillas, Honduras.
The USNS Comfort mission demonstrated U.S commitment to the Americas and is part of a continuum of support provided by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). SOUTHCOM-sponsored civic assistance and humanitarian missions are conducted in close cooperation with partner nations in the region as well as with U.S. interagency partners at the U.S. Department of State and USAID. Similar missions include Continuing Promise, New Horizons, Beyond the Horizon, medical readiness training exercises and the Medical Civil Action Program.
About USNS Comfort
A U.S. Navy hospital ship has the capacity to provide afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facilities to the U.S. military, and is an optimal platform to provide hospital services in support of U.S. humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations worldwide.
Medical & Dental Services Provided
- General surgery
- Ophthalmologic surgery
- Medical evaluation and treatment
- Preventive medicine
- Dental screenings and treatment
- Optometry screenings
- Eyewear distribution
- Public health