Continuing Promise Mission Team Lends a Hand in Colombian Town

Story Number: NNS110607-08Release Date: 6/7/2011 3:59:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) Brian Goyak, Continuing Promise 2011 Public Affairs

TUMACO, Colombia (NNS) -- Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen embarked aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) participated in a community relations project at the Institucion Ciudadela Educativa Tumaco Narino in Tumaco, Colombia, June 4-5.

More than 40 volunteers helped revitalize the school during the course of the weekend.

"The local community is very grateful for the help being provided by the crew from the ship," said Delfina Racero Chavez, school principal. "The change in the environment for the better will help the children by providing a nice, clean, bright place for them to focus on their studies."

The group painted the exteriors of several buildings located on the school's grounds. In addition to the volunteer service members, ten students joined in to lend a hand.

"With all of the volunteers we have here from the ship, along with the student volunteers from the school, it really is a community relations project," said Cmdr. Raymond Houk, a Navy chaplain. "We're working hand-in-hand with the community here to better the school and get some fresh paint on these walls."

The experience of working with the students was invaluable, explained one volunteer.

"It was really great being able to interact with the community the way we have," said Staff Sgt. Stewart Miller. "The volunteers from the different branches [of service] and the school have done an amazing job."

COMUSNAVSO/COMFOURTHFLT supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is anchored off the coast of Tumaco, Colombia during Continuing Promise 2011.
110602-N-RM525-268 TUMACO, Colombia (June 2, 2011) The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is anchored off the coast of Tumaco, Colombia during Continuing Promise 2011. Continuing Promise is a five-month humanitarian assistance mission to the Caribbean, Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathen E. Davis)
June 3, 2011
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