JUNE 8, 2015, COLON, Panama (NNS) – President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela and U.S. Ambassador to Panama Jonathan Farrar visited the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) June 4 during Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15).
The visitors toured Comfort’s operating rooms, patient wards, casualty and receiving area and met with Rear Adm. Jon Matheson, deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, CP-15 Mission Commander Capt. Sam Hancock and Comfort’s Medical Treatment Facility Commanding Officer Capt. Christine Sears.
Farrar thanked the U.S. and partner nation militaries and non-governmental organization volunteers for their continued dedication and support to the people of Panama.
“The U.S. government has made a promise to the people of this hemisphere that continues today,” said Farrar. “The people of Colon, who receive your services, will not forget the kindness, professionalism and dedication of the people of the United States of America.”
Panama is Comfort’s fifth mission stop for CP-15, demonstrating the U.S.’s commitment to strengthening partnerships in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, while working toward a mutual goal of promoting peace and stability within the region.
Prior to attending the reception aboard the Comfort, Varela and Farrar toured a medical site established at Centro Educativo Porfirio Melendez as well as an engineering project site at Centro Medico Patricia Duncan.
In partnership with the Panamanian government, partner nation volunteers and the Ministry of Health, CP-15 personnel have conducted site operations at medical and engineering sites, taken part in community relations projects and facilitated subject matter expert exchanges. The distinguished visitors witnessed first-hand the combined efforts of the Panamanian and U.S. participants while they toured each site.
“Continuing Promise 2015 represents a remarkable example of government collaboration and partnership,” said Farrar.
This will be the fourth time that the Continuing Promise mission has visited the country of Panama. Most recently in October 2010, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) visited Chiriqu Grande, Panama for Continuing Promise 2010.
Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces 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.