Skip to comments.USNS Comfort Set for International Training (USNS Comfort (T-AH 20))
Posted on 04/21/2006 4:16:42 PM PDT by SandRat
BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- National Naval Medical Center staff and the crew of USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) will team up with the Canadian navy in April for a medical training mission along the East Coast.
British and Canadian military medical personnel will accompany crew members on the transit from Baltimore to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
"The exercise with the Canadians is an international training opportunity where we will work on our interoperability with foreign nations organic medical operations," said Chief Hospital Corpsman (AW) Richard Gotautas, Bethesda Contingency Departments leading chief petty officer.
Comforts reduced operating crew, along with Military Sealift Commands civilian mariners and additional staff from throughout the region, will make up the 270-person crew. Comfort will also complete a Ship Material Assessment and Readiness Testing certification during the mission.
Lt. Jon Seavey, Contingency Departments assistant department head, said the mission is essential to building a cohesive team with foreign nations. That way, in a time of crisis, interoperability will be top notch.
"This is a good exercise in enhancing our flexibility, should a real operational necessity arise," Seavey said. "Just like Mercy did in Indonesia, one of the major challenges, basically, is figuring out how our capabilities match up with their capabilities."
The hospital ship will also make a stop in Boston and Norfolk, Va.
In previous missions, Comfort assisted in relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At its height, the hospital ship had more than 700 medical and support personnel aboard to assist in the Federal Emergency Management Agency-led initiative to provide disaster relief to the Gulf Coast region. The ship also took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom and provided services for rescue workers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Comfort has unique capabilities for humanitarian relief missions, including helicopter lift, advanced medical equipment, a wide range of medical skills, berthing and personnel support, as well as supplies to support medical operations ashore.
For related news, visit the National Naval Medical Center Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/nnmc/.
USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) PING
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