PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (NNS) -- A Brazilian cardiologist, pediatrician and orthopedic surgeon are serving alongside joint-military members and volunteers from various non-governmental organizations (NGO) aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) during Continuing Promise 2015 (CP 15).
Brazilian Army Col. Roberto Batista, a cardiologist, and Lt. Cesar Cima, an orthopedic surgeon, embarked pm board Comfort in April while Brazilian Navy Lt. Anabeatriz Reis, a pediatric intensive care physician, embarked the ship in May to serve on Comfort's six month humanitarian civic assistance mission.
Comfort's team is providing medical care, conducting community engagements and a veterinary seminar, and facilitating engineering projects in Haiti in support of Comfort's eleventh and final mission stop for CP-15. During this stop, Batista, who previously served in Haiti during earthquake relief efforts in 2010 at General Ba Cellar Base in Porto Principe, arranged for CP-15 leadership to tour the base and meet with members of the Brazilian Battalion (BRABAT) 22, a U.N. stabilization unit.
"I have been looking forward to returning to Haiti to see how it has changed since I was here in 2010 after the earthquake," said Batista. "I am eager to see people I know that were affected and be able to help those in need."
Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander, Capt. Christine Sears, commanding officer of the Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) aboard Comfort, and Capt. Miguel Cubano, executive officer of the MTF aboard Comfort, accompanied the Brazilians on the tour of the base along with Capt. Anthony Delgado, a pediatrician serving aboard Comfort, who worked closely with Reis during CP-15.
While meeting with the soldiers of BRABAT 22, Hancock thanked Col. Cel Dutra, BRABAT 22 commander, for their service in Haiti and recognized their 10-year commitment to peacekeeping in the region.
"It has been our pleasure to work alongside your Brazilian counterparts who have been serving aboard Comfort during the CP-15 mission," said Hancock. "We appreciate this partnership and relationship that helps us foster goodwill in the countries we visit. We hope to continue working together on future missions."
Reis, Cima and Batista are not directly affiliated with BRABAT 22, but they each expressed joy and excitement to meet with their Brazilian counterparts and share their experiences from the CP-15 mission, working alongside the U.S. Navy for the past six months.
"It's important that we share experiences and knowledge learned in our own countries with our U.S. counterparts and host nations," said Reis. "We also learned ways to improve our own methods. So, it's a kind of exchange of experiences for the greater good of everyone who is working together."
Delgado echoed Reis' sentiments of shared experience and learning from each other when he spoke of the time he spent working alongside her at medical sites during CP-15. The two often worked in close proximity on the mission when providing care to patients, usually infants and children with a range of medical ailments.
"Lt. Reis has been such a professional to work with," said Delgado. "Not only has she been delivering terrific care at the medical sites, but her skills as a pediatric intensive care physician have been put to use for some of our surgical patients on the ship. Her friendly demeanor, great work ethic and team focus made her an instant hit within our department."
Batista, who is the first Brazilian Army service member to serve on a Continuing Promise mission, said he enjoyed many opportunities to share the Brazilian culture with Sailors and NGOs serving on CP-15.
"I had the opportunity to share my culture and also learn about the U.S Navy culture, which is different from the Brazilian Army," said Batista.
"I was able to adapt to this environment and learn from those serving around me. I learned that people of all ranks and abilities can take charge and handle large responsibilities."
Batista, Cima and Reis' service during CP-15 has contributed to more than 110,000 patients receiving care on CP-15 thus far in Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic and Honduras. They are an example of how partnering and collaboration can positively affect many nations.
"Partnering with nations like Brazil is important because of our long history of cooperation as well as the certainty of future events that will generate a world response," said Delgado. "Making personal connections, learning about each other's medical systems, and developing trust will promote smooth integration on future multinational operations."
Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response to partner nations and to show the United States' continued support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.
For more news from Continuing Promise, visit www.navy.mil/local/cp/.