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...

Nellis medical center celebrates 25 years

Article
11/13/2019
Air Force Col. Alfred Flowers, 99th Medical Group commander, and Army Staff Sgt. Michael O’Callaghan, (grandson of the former Gov. O’Callaghan) reveal a portrait of O’Callaghan during a ceremony celebrating the Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center’s 25th Anniversary on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Nov. 12, 2019. The portrait will hang in the MOMMC to honor the center's namesake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum)

The Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center celebrated 25 years of operation Nov. 12

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

Preventing seasonal influenza

Article
11/13/2019
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jaqueline Mbugua and members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Medical Group traveled to the Roxy Theater on Joint Base Cape Cod to provide flu shots to Airmen Nov. 2, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thomas Swanson).

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

Womack Army Medical Center named Level III trauma center

Article
11/12/2019
Local medical partners conduct a 'trace the trauma' tour Nov. 6 after Womack Army Medical Center celebrated their integration into the North Carolina American College of Surgeons Level III Trauma designation. (U.S. Army photo by Twana Atkinson)

Trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans age 45 and younger

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

USNS Comfort strengthens partnership with Jamaica

Article
11/7/2019
Navy Cmdr. Sara Naczas, a nurse assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort, helps a boy roll his yo-yo at a temporary medical treatment site in Kingston, Jamaica. Comfort is working 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)

This marks the Comfort’s third visit to Jamaica

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

The art of moulage

Article
11/6/2019
Combat Medic Training program students at the Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston conduct an emergency cricothyrotomy on a “casualty” during simulation training. The “wounded” manikin also presents with facial burns that were created with moulage techniques. (DoD photo by Lisa Braun)

METC combat medic manikins rock realistic wounds

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Air Force transitions all U.S. military treatment facilities to DHA administration, management

Article
10/31/2019
This October, U.S.-based Air Force military treatment facilities transferred administration and management to the Defense Health Agency. (U.S. Air Force illustration)

Congress directed this transfer in the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Honduran MEDRETEs provide invaluable surgical, training opportunities

Article
10/30/2019
Air Force Maj. Julia Nuelle, chief of Orthopaedic Hand and Microvascular Surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center, poses for a photo with a pediatric patient and her mother during a Medical Readiness Exercise in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The team finished their mission by visiting their patients and delivering toys and coloring books to the hospital's pediatric ward. (Courtesy photo by Army Lt. Col. Lori Tapley)

MEDRETEs play a critical role in the training and readiness of military medical personnel

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Joint Army-Air Force-Navy medical partnership saves lives downrange

Article
10/29/2019
Airmen work with members of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation team to save the life of a NATO troop at the Craig Joint-Theater Hospital on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Rau)

More than 100 medics from the 59th Medical Wing deployed

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

DHA's management of hospitals and clinics 'all about the patient'

Article
10/29/2019
Great outcomes, a ready medical force, satisfied patients – all flow directly from a patient-centered approach. As DHA assumes responsibility for military health care facilities across the entire Department of Defense, we aim to operate each hospital and clinic so that it improves the lives and health of our patients. It’s more than a pledge – it’s our mission. (DoD photo)

Great outcomes, a ready medical force, satisfied patients

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

State of the art procedure is the first within DoD

Article
10/28/2019
Retired Capt. Eugene Chalaire was the first to undergo an intricate cancer-preventive procedure performed at Womack Army Medical Center this summer. Womack is the first within the DoD to offer this service. (U.S. Army photo)

Only a handful of medical centers in the United States perform this surgery

Recommended Content:

Technology | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Comfort strengthens partnership following successful medical mission

Article
10/21/2019
Navy Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Benjamin Lazarus flies in an MH-60S Seahawk assigned to the “Dragon Whales” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, as it transports supplies from the hospital ship USNS Comfort for a temporary medical treatment site in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall)

More than 800 medical professionals provided care for 3,677 patients

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

The Defense Health Agency participates in AUSA 2019 annual meeting

Article
10/18/2019
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, DHA Director, discusses upcoming Military Health System changes designed to improve the readiness of combat forces during a seminar held at the Association of the United States Army 2019 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.  Lt. Gen. Place explained how DHA is standardizing systems to improve healthcare across the enterprise.  (DHA Photo by Hannah Wagner)

Focus on quality care, innovation at home and on the battlefield

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Preventive Health

No effort spared to bring home seriously wounded Soldier

Article
10/17/2019
Air Force Capt. Natasha Cardinal, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron critical care nurse, monitors her patient during a flight from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan to San Antonio, Texas. Critical care air transport teams are rapidly deployable teams consisting of a physician, critical care nurse and a respiratory therapist who provide a mobile intensive care unit for complex, critically wounded patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Mancuso)

The priority the military places on saving the lives of its service members is unparalleled

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

TRICARE website expands to include military hospital sites

Article
10/16/2019
The TRICARE website is growing. As of Oct. 1, TRICARE welcomed several military hospitals and clinics to its website.

By 2021, more than 350 individual military hospital and clinic websites will move to TRICARE.mil.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Military Hospitals and Clinics

The Military Training Network transitions to the Defense Health Agency

Article
10/11/2019
The Military Training Network or MTN transferred from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to the Defense Health Agency in September 2019. MTN oversees basic, advanced, and pediatric life-support training for more than 350,000 medical and non-medical personnel at 345 military facilities around the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

Shift speeds training where it’s needed most

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 13

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.