PUERTO CORTES, Honduras –
U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) completed its second mission stop of Continuing Promise 2022 in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, Nov. 7, 2022.
During the seven-day visit to Honduras, the embarked medical team, consisting of U.S., Honduran and partner nation military personnel and civilian medical professionals, provided care to over 1,505 patients from communities across the region. Additionally, the mission conducted 105 laboratory tests, ran 61 x-rays, completed 20 ultrasounds and performed 23 surgeries.
“The United States and its partners are committed to improving conditions, increasing capacity and cooperation on common challenges in this region,” said Rear Adm. Douglas W. Sasse, III, Reserve Vice Commander, U.S. 4th Fleet.
During the mission stop, the Continuing Promise team collaborated with local government officials and domestic and international non-governmental organizations to expand capacity and capability while learning from each other. The mission stop also included subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) on various topics, including biomedical technical support, tactical combat casualty control, water treatment, vector trapping, veterinary services, dental health promotion and pediatrics. These SMEEs ensure the impact of Continuing Promise lasts long after Comfort departs Honduras.
“Being able to collaborate, come together and exchange resources with Hondurans was fantastic,” said Lt. Kevin Campbell, dental surgeon, from Taunton, Massachusetts. “It was an amazing experience working alongside 16 partnership dentists. As we leave Honduras, I hope we were able to help instill good dental habits in the people of Honduras.”
The mission also held Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Initiative events throughout the week to break down gender barriers by expanding the perspective on traditional security and health issues. A highlight from the WPS events was the two Gender-Based Violence workshop conducted over four days in San Pedro Sula.
Additionally, the mission conducted a day of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training, which consisted of academic instruction in the morning followed by an afternoon waterborne search and rescue exercise supported by Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-26.
Crew also refurbished a school in Puerto Cortes, and alongside the U.S. Fleet Forces Band visited and interacted with children from a local orphanage. The band performed at various community events, held a public concert in San Pedro Sula, conducted a youth jam session and closed the week out with a concert alongside the Honduran military band in Omoa.
Since the inauguration of Continuing Promise in 2007, Comfort medical teams have treated more than 484,000 patients, which comprises over 83% of the patients treated during all Continuing Promise missions, and conducted more than 7,400 surgeries, including over 800 surgeries during the 2010 earthquake relief mission in Haiti. Comfort’s current mission is the 12th Continuing Promise mission conducted in U.S. Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.
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.