Continuing Promise 2011 Completes Mission in Colombia

Story Number: NNS110613-08Release Date: 6/13/2011 1:12:00 PM
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By Staff Sgt. Courtney Richardson, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

TUMACO, Colombia (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) and Continuing Promise 2011 (CP11) departed Tumaco, Colombia, June 12, after providing ten days of humanitarian civic assistance.

Comfort's crew performed 126 surgeries and treated 4,825 patients at the Escuela Max Seidel medical site during its mission in Colombia.

"I am grateful for the opportunities we have had during our stay in Colombia, to work and train and continue a long standing relationship between our two countries," said Commodore Brian Nickerson, CP11 mission commander. "This has been, without a doubt, an extremely rewarding experience for both me and the team aboard Comfort."

CP11 is a collaborative effort involving military and civilian medical professionals and non-governmental organizations, such as Give a Kid a Backpack and Edge Outreach.

In addition to the medical mission, CP11 personnel also completed a civic engineering project in Colombia, which included building two classrooms, a bathroom and a new septic system.

"As Seabees, we are improving schools and building relationships and partnerships," said Ensign Gabino Moreno, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 officer-in-charge. "Better schools equal a better education. A better education provides better opportunity for the children to make a positive difference in their world."

Although the mission of Continuing Promise is to provide humanitarian and civic assistance to host nation residents, the CP11 crew also had the opportunity to build on the partnership between the two countries.

"One great example of this was the close coordination between the Colombian National Police Search and Rescue team, the Continuing Promise operations center ashore and the Comfort crew earlier this week," said Nickerson. "Together, they assisted four Colombian citizens who were seriously injured in an accident south of Tumaco. While the incident was unfortunate, the response underscored the importance of relationships and why we train together."

CP11 Colombia concluded with a closing ceremony in Tumaco and a luncheon hosted by the crew of Comfort.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) 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 information, please contact COMUSNAVSO/C4F Public Affairs by e-mail at, visit, on Facebook at, or on Twitter at

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

USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is anchored off the coast of Tumaco, Colombia, during Continuing Promise 2011.
110609-F-ET173-433 TUMACO, Colombia (June 9, 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. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alesia Goosic)
June 10, 2011
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