Comfort Departs Trinidad and Tobago

Lt. Gen. Michael Plehn. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, Ambassador Joseph Mondello and Minister of National Security Stuart Young

LA BREA, Trinidad and Tobago (NNS) — The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Trinidad and Tobago Sept. 11, following a six-day medical mission.

At a closing ceremony to commemorate the end of the mission in Trinidad and Tobago, senior Trinbagonian and U.S. officials spoke about the importance of the Comfort’s mission in the region.

“Thank you for choosing Trinidad and Tobago as one of your ports of call on this assignment and for bringing to us relief for the people of Trinidad and Tobago and our guests from Venezuela,” said Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley. “It is not every day that Americans come together, but we’ve demonstrated that we, the people of the Americas, can come together to work for the benefit of all our people.”

Lt. Gen. Michael Plehn, deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command, shared his reflections on the mission.

“This visit marks the return of Comfort to the Caribbean and the first time Comfort has visited Trinidad and Tobago since 2007,” Plehn said at the ceremony. “This deployment is one of the many ways United States Southern Command is strengthening our relationship with Trinidad and Tobago. Each engagement is a part of our enduring promise to our region and to our neighbors, an enduring promise to be steadfast and to be a trusted partner.”

During Comfort’s mission, medical professionals from the U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy, alongside eight partner nations and non-governmental organizations, provided care for more than 6,000 patients at two separate shore-based medical sites and performed more than 115 surgeries aboard the ship.

This marks Comfort’s second visit to Trinidad and Tobago and its seventh to the region since 2007.

This mission stop is part of the U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative and reflects the United States’ ongoing commitment to friendship, partnership, and solidarity with partner nations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.