Continuing Promise 2015
CP-15 Crew Completes Mission Stop in Guatemala
Military Sealift Command hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), departed Guatemala May 1 after completing a nine-day mission stop in support of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15).
Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 Mission Commander, highlighted the overall success that mission personnel and Guatemalan host-nation partners achieved during the mission stop during the closing ceremony at Caribbean Naval Command in Puerto Santo Tomas de Castilla on April 30. Many key leaders attended the event, including: Todd Robinson, U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala; Col. Carlos Figueroa, Guatemala senior defense official; Vice Adm. Carlos Thomas, commander, Naval Forces Guatemala; Captain de Navio Erick Sanchez, Commander Caribbean Naval Command; Dr. Luis Enrique Monterroso De Len , Guatemala Minister of Health; Dr. Porfirio Santizo, president of Colegio de Medicos; and Governor of Puerto Barrios Sonia Judit Palencia.
"Our joint effort afforded us the opportunity to work together with local volunteers, medical staff and our Guatemalan counterparts to serve over 10,000 patients," said Hancock. "We are fortunate to have worked alongside our friends and partners, further enabling us to strengthen our ties in support of the enduring partnership between the United States and Guatemala - a partnership that enhances our shared values, interests and commitment to unity, security and stability within the region."
Partnering together, CP-15 members and Guatemalan medical professionals conducted nearly 525 dental exams and procedures, more than 1,300 optometry exams and 105 surgeries. The CP-15 team provided care to patients at medical sites set up at Complejo Deportivo de Puerto Barrios and Casa Social del Maestro Prof. Leopoldo Cordn Guzman.
The embarked non-governmental organization volunteers from the University of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society, Project Hope, Latter Day Saints Charities and Registered Nurse Response Network also worked alongside military and host-nation medical professionals at each medical site and aboard Comfort to complete the wide range of medical care given.
Additionally, the CP-15 mission crew conducted subject matter expert exchanges on more than 69 topics with Guatemalan counterparts. Basic life support, disease and diagnosis, air quality and sanitation were among the topics covered.
The Comfort hosted a seminar on women's health which afforded CP-15 personnel and Guatemalan providers the opportunity to collaborate with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, to discuss best practices for treating and educating female patients with various women's health concerns.
Cmdr. Erlina Naval, a nurse practitioner assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, and one of the event coordinators, said working with the healthcare professionals at all the mission stops allows the U.S. and host nation providers the opportunity to enhance their overall skills, as well as build professional relationships.
"I think the seminar stimulated a desire to learn more information from each other and about different medical concerns women face," said Naval. "Our aim was to empower each other to encourage others in our communities and families to seek medical care if necessary."
In addition to medical assistance and information exchanges, Seabees assigned to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 completed 12 renovation and improvement projects at the Domingo Juarros and 15 de Septiembre schools. The work included window replacements, tile repair, electrical upgrades and painting.