Some of TEAM COMFORT's partners with the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, the Hon. Spencer Baldwin.

Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda Baldwin Spencer with just a few of TEAM COMFORT's inter-agency, international, and NGO partners.

After closely following the previous deployments of USNS COMFORT and USNS Mercy as well as what I saw with my own eyes last week while onboard COMFORT, I have compiled a partial list of the intangible benefits that humanitarian missions like CP ’09 provide for both our Navy and Nation:

Enhanced inter-agency cooperation across the entire U.S. Government (DOD, DHS, HHS, DOS, etc);

Strengthened Mil-to-Mil relationships with the countries visited during the COMFORT’s deployment as well as with the international medical personnel onboard COMFORT;

Increased U.S. military and NGO coordination which is typically not as seamless elsewhere around the globe as it is onboard COMFORT;

countless opportunities to conduct medical diplomacy which is “the winning of hearts and minds of people in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere by exporting medical care, expertise, and personnel to help those who need it most;”

and invaluable training for the medical personnel who will treat patients with conditions that are practically non-existent in the United States.

Again, just a partial list. The list could go on and on especially about the human interest stories like the grandmother who had been blinded by cataracts and saw her grandson for the first time onboard COMFORT. Priceless.


Posted by Jim Dolbow in Soft Power

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