Continuing Promise 2010 Opening Ceremony Held in Panama

Story Number: NNS100930-06Release Date: 9/30/2010 3:17:00 PM
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By Lt. Jacqui Barker, Continuing Promise 2010 Public Affairs

CHIRIQUI GRAND, Panama (NNS) -- The U.S. Embassy and Panama Minister of Health hosted a welcoming ceremony for the Continuing Promise 2010 (CP10) team Sept. 28 at the Rambala Maternity Clinic in Punta Pina, Panama.

The CP10 team of 1,500 personnel aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) was anchored off the coast of Chiriqui Grand, Panama and provided humanitarian civic assistance (HCA), to include medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, and engineering services to the area for ten days.

"Though we bring doctors, and dentists, veterinarians and engineers, what we really bring is a message; a message of commitment and partnership," said CP10 Commodore, Capt. Thomas Negus. "That commitment is strong, sustained, meaningful and based upon mutual respect. I pledge to you, the work of the entire Continuing Promise 2010 team, as we work with you, our Panamanian partners in bringing "whole of community" humanitarian assistance to the region."

The CP10 message of partnership, respect and collaboration was reciprocated in the echoed sentiments articulated by Dr. Daryl Padmore, Bocas del Toro Regional Ministry of Health director.

"In this mission, your doctors and our doctors will work together to bring healthcare to the people of Panama," said Dr. Daryl Padmore, Bocas del Toro Regional Ministry of Health director. "The government of Panama is committed to bring healthcare to its people, as you see here. For medical people, it's not words that matter. It's the medical attention we give to the people."

Negus spoke about the CP10 team's excitement for being in Panama.

"The international Continuing Promise team is very excited to be here in Panama today, to work with you in this important humanitarian mission," said Negus "Continuing Promise is an equal partner mission that serves as a tangible demonstration of our commitment to our neighbors."

"With Continuing Promise, you are going to different countries and teaching and healing - and we are so very grateful," said Dr. Jose Stonestreet, Comarca Ngabe Ministry of Health regional director.

Continuing Promise 2010 is an HCA operating from USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility under the operational directorate of Commander, Fourth Fleet.

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