The hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived in Baltimore today, finishing a four month humanitarian and health diplomacy mission (Continuing Promise 2009) to Latin America. While it is a great day for her crew and their families, I am selfishly a little sad to see an end to the ship’s blog. The postings had became a regular part of my internet reading list. Want to know what it is like to be on a health diplomacy deployment? Captain Negus, Commander of Continuing Promise 09, said it best:
My old theory was that the strength of any organization is a function of the character of the people involved, but my experience during CONTINUING PROMISE 09 has caused me to expand my thinking. As I look around the messdecks, and as I tour the sites far inland at our present location of El Salvador, I see scores of different groups of people who have all come together for this amazing mission: Army reservists working side by side with Project HOPE volunteers; Air Force technicians sweating side by side with private citizens from Latter-Day Saints; Dutch medical professionals laughing side by side with students from UCSD. In all we have had participants from 11 different countries, 18 different non-governmental organizations, and have a host of interagency support throughout our four month long deployment. In fact, my current Political Advisor, Ms. Melissa Francis, is a Foreign Service Officer with USAID stationed in San Salvador. Each person, and each organization, has something unique to offer to this mission. We simply could not do the things we do without everyone involved.
Good job all!
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- On Midrats 10 Mar 13, Episode 166: “Expeditionary Fleet Balance”
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