MANTA, Ecuador-The hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived in Manta, Ecuador on June 26 to begin its 2019 deployment.
There, U.S. service members and medical professionals will work with military and civilian personnel from Ecuador and partner nations to meet the needs of groups who have urgent health care needs. The reciprocates of this care will include local communities and Venezuelans who have fled to nearby nations.
“Comfort’s team is ready to work side-by-side with doctors, nurses, and surgeons from throughout the region, exchanging expertise and providing assistance where we can to build a stronger neighborhood on a foundation of mutual respect and goodwill,” Capt. Brian J. Diebold, commander of Task Force 49, said.
To aid in the effort, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Peru are some of the nations sending personnel who possess a variety of skills.
Comfort is the seventh hospital ship to deploy to this region since 2007. The medical teams are being sent now to help relieve pressure on national medical systems that have been strained partly by an increase in Venezuelan migrants.
The deployment is reflective of the Enduring Promise Initiative of the U.S. Southern Command, which is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands in the U.S. Department of Defense.
The dvids website described this initiative as reflecting “the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with the Americas.”
This deployment is an example of how the U.S. is carrying out their commitment to strengthening a relationship with Ecuador and the region, U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Michael J. Fitzpatrick said.
“USNS Comfort’s visit to Ecuador for the second time in less than nine months is an excellent example of our bilateral cooperation,” he said.
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