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    Navy Surgeon General embarks USNS Comfort during Continuing Promise 2015



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. Fourth Fleet

    By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amy Kirk
    CP-15 Public Affairs

    CARIBBEAN SEA -- U.S. Navy Surgeon General and Chief of U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan embarked the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) April 19-23, which is currently deployed in support of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15).

    Continuing Promise is a collaborative effort with partner nations to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response within the region, demonstrating the U.S. support and commitment to Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

    Prior to embarking the ship, Nathan visited the CP-15 Belize medical and engineering sites as well as attended a reception and closing ceremony. While embarked, Nathan toured the ship, met with senior leadership and non-governmental organization volunteers and took a turn serving lunch to the junior personnel. Before departing, he attended the opening ceremony for the start of CP-15 operations in Guatemala.

    During an all-hands call onboard Comfort, Nathan emphasized the responsibility those Sailors have been given, to care and medically provide for people during humanitarian missions and disaster relief efforts.

    "The Navy is unique. We are designed to be out and about - to go where we are needed in a moment's notice and stay however long it takes," said Nathan. "We are the world's 911. You are working aboard the Navy's premier 911 vessel. When the world calls, we will answer."

    Nathan spoke directly with many of the officers and enlisted, letting them know no matter their specialty or branch of service, when at sea, they are all shipmates.

    "It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to have Vice Adm. Nathan aboard. The Military Treatment Facility aboard Comfort continues to maintain readiness, maximize value and implement the interoperability between other service branches and partner nations in support of Continuing Promise," said Capt. Christine Sears, commanding officer of Comfort's Military Treatment Facility. "Many of the crew had the opportunity to discuss various topics with him, in person and share in his enthusiasm for the Navy, Navy Medicine's core values and our seagoing heritage."

    Hospital Corpsman 1st Class William Dunn, assigned to the Directorate for Public Health aboard the ship, said the surgeon general visit provided affirmation that the mission they are doing is making a difference.

    "It shows us that what we are doing is important; it lets us know that who we are and what we do every day matters," said Dunn. "It also helps to give us a better understanding that our mission is about building partnerships."

    Nathan spoke to the crew about the importance of working together to build trusting partnerships in the 11 countries throughout the CP-15 mission. He explained that missions such as Continuing Promise can change people's perceptions about the United States.

    "You are going to link arms with people out there and work together. You are going to build partnerships on an international level. You are going to change lives,
    and I hope change your life in the process," said Nathan.

    Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response to partner nations and to show the United States' continued support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

    For more news from Continuing Promise, visit www.navy.mil/local/cp/.



    Date Taken: 04.28.2015
    Date Posted: 04.28.2015 15:08
    Story ID: 161551

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