By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amy Kirk, CP-15 Public Affairs
KINGSTON, Jamaica (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Kingston, Jamaica, May 15 after completing her third mission stop in support of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15).
Comfort's embarked military and non-governmental organization volunteers worked side-by-side with Jamaican military and civilian professionals to provide medical, dental, optometry and veterinary care, conduct subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and complete engineering projects at three schools from May 6th through the 13th.
The Jamaica CP-15 mission stop was celebrated alongside Jamaican officials during a closing ceremony at the U.S. embassy May 13, marking the completion of the nine-day mission stop.
"On behalf of the over 1,000 members of the CP-15 team, thank you for your support, hospitality and generosity during our time in Jamaica in support of Continuing Promise," said Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander. "We are fortunate to have worked alongside our friends and partners, to further strengthen the enduring partnership between the United States and Jamaica. It is a partnership that enhances our shared values, interests and commitment to unity, security and stability within the region."
Guests attending the ceremony included: The U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, The Honorable Luis Moreno; Rear Adm. Bruce Lindsey, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10; Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander; Capt. Christine Sears, commanding officer, medical treatment facility aboard Comfort; Capt. Robert Wiley, Comfort's ships master; the Jamaican Prime Minister, the Honorable Portia Simpson Miller; and the Jamaican Minister of Health, the Honorable Dr. Fenton Ferguson.
Partnering together, CP-15 members and Jamaican medical professionals conducted over 600 dental exams and procedures, more than 1,700 optometry exams and 110 surgeries. Overall, the CP-15 team provided primary medical care to more than 9,700 patients at medical sites set up at the National Indoor Sports Complex and the Maxfield Park Health Centre.
The CP-15 mission crew conducted SMEEs on more than 200 topics with their Jamaican counterparts. Collaboration efforts included basic life support certifications, an occupational health seminar, a veterinary presentation on livestock animal health and a preventative medicine health fair.
Seabees assigned to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 worked with military engineers from the Jamaica Defence Force to complete renovations and improvements to Carberry Court Special School, Rennock Lodge All Ages School and Trench Town Primary School. The work included kitchen renovations, electrical upgrades and constructing a new library and chicken coop.
Comfort's chaplain's office coordinated community relation events at the Hope Valley Experimental School, Rennock Lodge All Ages School and the Mustard Seed Communities - Jerusalem Orphanage. The U.S. Fleet Forces band, "Unchartered Waters" performed at each school, while crew members visited with children and distributed donations of stuffed animals, coloring books, school supplies and soccer balls. Members of the ship's choir joined the band for a performance for residents at the Ozanam Senior Citizen's Home and other volunteers painted several rooms and the home's dining hall.
Comfort's next mission stop is Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. The CP-15 medical team will set up medical outreach sites at the Instituto Politechnico Heroes y Martires and the Colegio Moravo Juan Amos Comenius to provide no-cost medical and dental services to host-nation citizens.
CMBU 202 has planned civic-assistance projects at the Escuela Publica Rigoberto Cabezas and the Hospital Nuevo Amanecer Enfermera Nancy Bach.
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.