Back to Top Skip to main content

Hospital ship USNS Comfort returns home after completing mission

Family and friends of crew members aboard Military Sealift Command’s hospital ship USNS Comfort wait as the ship pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Dec. 18. Comfort returned to Virginia after completing its 11-week medical support mission to South and Central America, part of U.S. Southern Command’s Operation Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photograph by Brian Suriani) Family and friends of crew members aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort wait as the ship pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Dec. 18. Comfort returned to Virginia after completing its 11-week medical support mission to South and Central America, part of U.S. Southern Command’s Operation Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photograph by Brian Suriani)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

NORFOLK, Virginia – The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort pulled into Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, Dec. 18, after completing its deployment to South and Central America.

Comfort’s return to Norfolk signifies the conclusion of an 11-week medical support mission to the region as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Operation Enduring Promise initiative.

“The men and women on USNS Comfort, representing the best of the United States Navy and our nation, treated over 26,000 patients and conducted approximately 600 surgeries aboard the ship and at land-based sites,” said Navy Rear Adm. Sean Buck, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command. “Their work made a big difference in Central and South America in ways both concrete and intangible for years to come.”

Comfort’s embarked medical team worked with health and government partners in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Honduras, providing care both aboard the ship and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems caused partially by an increase in cross-border migrants. The deployment reflected the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with the Americas.

“This deployment reflects the United States enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with our partners in the Americas,” added Buck.

The ship’s crew included more than 465 U.S. and partner nation military doctors, nurses and corpsmen. In addition, about 90 medical and dental professional volunteers from non-governmental organizations were aboard to support the medical assistance mission. The mission was supported by a team of approximately 70 of Military Sealift Command’s civil service mariners who oversaw the ship’s operation and navigation. During the mission, USNS Comfort visited Esmeraldas, Ecuador; Paita, Peru; Turbo, Colombia; Riohacha, Colombia; and Trujillo, Honduras.

“We had an opportunity to work with all of our friends and partners in the region and provide amazing care for a lot of folks who really needed it,” said Navy Capt. William Shafley, USNS Comfort’s mission commander, “The mission could not have been successful if we had not worked as a team. We feel the mission was a tremendous success and we are all very proud of the work we have done.”

Health services provided during USNS Comfort’s deployment included general surgery, ophthalmologic surgery, dermatology, medical evaluation and treatment, preventive medicine, dental screenings and treatment, optometry screenings, eyewear distribution, and general public health. Medical capabilities aboard the hospital ship include surgical and post-surgical rooms, a CAT-scan unit, four X-ray machines, a dental suite, an optometry lab, a physical therapy area, two oxygen-producing plants and a 5,000-unit blood bank.

“Our team did a great job working with partners from 11 different countries and non-governmental organizations,” said Navy Capt. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer, USNS Comfort Medical Treatment Facility. “The team really came together during this deployment and used all of our skills while working with our partners to the south. As a professional, working with everyone on this deployment was truly an awesome experience.”

During the port visits, Comfort’s medical team conducted a variety of surgeries including cataracts, hernias, cleft palates and more. Additionally, Comfort hosted approximately 1,000 distinguished visitors and guests during 53 distinguished visitor and media days to include the President of Honduras and Prime Minister of Peru.

“To the Enduring Promise Team and the USNS Comfort, congratulations and thank you for demonstrating America’s enduring concern for our neighbors to the south,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in a message to USNS Comfort’s crew. “As you return home, you carry the thanks and respect of those you treated in Ecuador, Peru, Columbia and Honduras. In a world awash in change with displaced populations, fragmented relationships and great power competition, your deployment delivered a sense of concern and humanity amidst chaos.”

The USNS Comfort’s Enduring Promise mission demonstrated U.S commitment to the Americas and is part of a continuum of support provided by U.S. Southern Command. SOUTHCOM sponsored civic assistance and humanitarian missions were 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.

This mission marked the sixth time the hospital ship has provided medical assistance in the region. Since first deploying to the region on a similar mission more than a decade ago, the hospital ship has visited 18 nations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. During those missions, military medical professionals worked with host nation and civilian partners to provide medical treatment to nearly 390,000 people, including more than 6,000 surgeries.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 1 - January 2020

Report
1/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Active and Reserve Component Service Members and Non-Service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2009–June 2019; Respiratory Pathogen Surveillance Trends and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates for the 2018–2019 Season Among Department of Defense Beneficiaries; Brief Report: The Early Impact of the MHS GENESIS Electronic Health Record System on the Capture of Healthcare Data for the Defense Medical Surveillance System; and Brief Report: Incidence and Prevalence of Idiopathic Corneal Ectasias, Active Component, 2001–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Air Force studies fatigue, sleep to enhance readiness

Article
12/31/2019
An Air Force Airman sleeps inside a C-17 Globemaster III during a flight over an undisclosed location in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration)

Good sleep habits are closely related to overall health and performance

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Sleep

Air Force International Health Specialist builds medical capability in Iraq

Article
12/30/2019
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jessica Cowden, Infectious Disease Programs chief with the Defense Institute for Medical Operations, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, poses for a photo with the NATO Mission Iraq Embedded Training Team during the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, June 25, 2019. (Photo By Josh Mahler)

Cowden’s work facilitated the exchange of medical knowledge and practices between Kurdish and Iraqi security forces.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Global Health Engagement strengthens partnerships

Article
12/20/2019
U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Sullivan, a pediatrician assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort, gives a sticker to a two-year-old boy after examining his skin infection at a temporary medical treatment site in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. During Comfort’s deployment, the crew worked with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at a temporary medical treatment site, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maria G. Llanos)

GHE advances U.S. national security interests around the world

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Guard and Reserve crucial to CCATT expansion

Article
12/20/2019
Air Force Maj. Lori Wyatt, a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, West Virginia, assembles a gurney during a casualty evacuation training at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. The Air Force is increasing the number of CCATTs to support future readiness requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

The Guard and Reserve support the bulk of aeromedical evacuation, CCATT capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

DHA PI 6025.10: Change 1: Standard Processes, Guidelines, and Responsibilities of the DoD Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in the Military Health System (MHS) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance of References (e) through (t), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to begin standard processes and guidelines for the Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, Reference (e)), in MTFs.

Air Force, Army medics save groom

Article
12/19/2019
Airmen from the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron simulate life-saving procedures to a training manikin onboard a KC-135 Stratotanker during an exercise out of Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th AES maintains a forward operating presence, and was instrumental in saving an Airman’s life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Seefeldt)

NCO’s first aeromedical evacuation mission was definitely challenging

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Payne visits service members, facilities in Puget Sound

Article
12/18/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director for Combat Support, Defense Health Agency, speaks with service members and staff at Madigan Army Medical Center during a town hall in Letterman Auditorium. Payne visited Madigan as the final stop of his tour of the Pacific Northwest military treatment facilities, also including the Air Force’s 62nd Medical Squadron, Naval Hospital Bremerton and Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor. He conducted town halls at each location, focusing on MHS transformation, and answering questions from the audience on topics ranging from MHS GENESIS, readiness and training, and the future of military medicine. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

Effective combat power depends on military health’s ability to build a medically ready force

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS GENESIS

DHA transition discussion hosted at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article
12/12/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee E. Payne, Assistant Director for Combat Support Agency, Defense Health Agency explained to Naval Hospital Bremerton staff members during a Town Hall meeting there are four overlapping areas of focus for DHA which are great outcomes, ready medical force, satisfied patients, and fulfilled staff, all contributing to the goal of having a medically ready force and a ready medical force.

The most important outcome for us is a medically ready force

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Changes to military health care system aimed at readiness

Article
12/6/2019
Speaking before the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel during a Dec. 5 hearing on Capitol Hill, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffrey (left), Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place (second from left), director of the DHA, the service Surgeons General, and Joint Staff Surgeon outlined the necessity for the health care system to change in order to support warfighter readiness. (MHS photo)

Merger of all hospitals and clinics to DHA a key step

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Keesler renovates cardiac cath lab to provide better, safer care

Article
12/5/2019
Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Slaven (right), 81st Medical Operations Squadron cardiopulmonary technician, briefs 81st Medical Group staff and guests on cath lab capabilities during the cardiac catheterization laboratory ribbon cutting ceremony inside Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The lab was upgraded with an entire suite of technology to provide better and safer care for patients and the surgical team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Suzie Plotnikov)

The clinic also has a joint DoD – VA partnership

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

Military hospital transformation – introducing the market construct

Article
12/5/2019
Barclay Butler, Ph.D., MBA, assistant director of management at DHA, explains the market concept to an audience of active-duty and civilian conference attendees at the 2019 AMSUS Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, Dec. 4. (Photo by MHS Communications)

Markets will manage hospital and clinic needs within a geographic region

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS Transformation

McCaffery calls for military medical strategic framework for warfighting readiness

Article
12/5/2019
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery speaks on Thursday at the annual meeting of AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals. McCaffery announced to the nearly 2,000 conference attendees that he has asked the Military Health System's senior leadership to develop and codify a formal strategic framework to guide integrating and optimizing all MHS components to meet his vision. (MHS photo)

'New reality' includes tight synchronization, expanding partnerships

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | MHS Transformation

McCaffery AMSUS Remarks 2019

Publication
12/5/2019

McCaffery statements made during the 2019 annual meeting of AMSUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Ship-based Global Health Engagement

Article
12/4/2019
Navy Capt. Heather King, executive director of the TriService Nursing Research Program at the Uniformed Services University, details the process of ship-based global health engagement missions during the October 22, 2019, Medical Museum Science Café titled "Ship-Based Global Health Engagement Missions: Expanding Global Partnerships" at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (NMHM photo)

Global health engagement is an important priority for military medicine

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | National Museum of Health and Medicine
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 50

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.