USA/El Salvador

USS Box­er Sup­ports ‘Con­tin­u­ing Promise’ in El Sal­vador

By Navy Lt. Jen­nifer Cragg
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2008 — Dur­ing the Memo­r­i­al Day Week­end, while Amer­i­cans remem­ber the sac­ri­fices and com­mit­ments of ser­vice­mem­bers, the crew of USS Box­er will also be mak­ing sac­ri­fices as the ship par­tic­i­pates in the Pacif­ic phase of Con­tin­u­ing Promise 2008, a Human­i­tar­i­an civic-assis­tance mis­sion in Latin Amer­i­ca.

The mis­sion “reflects the Unit­ed States’ com­mit­ment to our part­ners in Latin Amer­i­ca, [by] work­ing side by side with the coun­tries of El Sal­vador and Guatemala with their med­ical pro­fes­sion­als, and their engi­neers as well,” Navy Capt. Peter Dall­man, com­man­der of Amphibi­ous Squadron 5, told online jour­nal­ists and blog­gers in a con­fer­ence call today.

On April 28, the Box­er crew left San Diego accom­pa­nied by med­ical pro­fes­sion­als from 25 dif­fer­ent com­mands from around the world. In addi­tion to the aug­ment­ed med­ical team, mem­bers from the U.S. Pub­lic Health Ser­vice and the non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion Project Hope also accom­pa­nied the crew on the two-month human­i­tar­i­an mis­sion.

“We have 40 med­ical pro­fes­sion­als nor­mal­ly; we’ve aug­ment­ed that with anoth­er 125-plus health care pro­fes­sion­als across the broad spec­trum of optom­e­try, oph­thal­mol­o­gy, den­tal care, inter­nal med­i­cine, pri­ma­ry care, and corps­men. Those folks are con­duct­ing clin­ics ashore, basi­cal­ly one main med­ical clin­ic a day,” Dall­man said.

In addi­tion to health care providers, 60 Seabees from Navy Seabee Con­struc­tion Bat­tal­ion Main­te­nance Unit 303 also are accom­pa­ny­ing the crew.

“[They] will be con­duct­ing small-grade con­struc­tion projects ashore and work­ing on reroof­ing elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing, [installing] win­dows and screens to schools and church­es,” Dall­man explained.

He added that the help has been very warm­ly received by the peo­ple of Guatemala and El Sal­vador.

“I think there is cer­tain­ly a need here, and we also have learned much from the folks that we’ve been work­ing with and been treat­ing,” he said. “There has been an over­whelm­ing, sin­cere appre­ci­a­tion for our efforts and our com­mit­ment to their coun­tries and their peo­ple, and that has been very grat­i­fy­ing.”

Diebold said that, on aver­age, the team is treat­ing 600 or 700 patients a day in areas of den­tal, optom­e­try, and pri­ma­ry care. In Guatemala, they saw more than 5,000 pri­ma­ry care patients. To date, they have per­formed 67 surg­eries, includ­ing remov­ing cataracts, appen­dec­tomies, and her­nia repairs.

In addi­tion, the Box­er crew has hand­ed out close to a 1,000 pairs of eye­glass­es in Guatemala and has seen more than 2,000 optom­e­try patients. The crew also has treat­ed close to 1,500 ani­mals.

Box­er has had expe­ri­ence in offer­ing human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance in their pri­or deploy­ments. Dall­man not­ed that dur­ing an Octo­ber-Novem­ber 2006 deploy­ment, the crew vol­un­teered to sup­port a Habi­tat for Human­i­ty project to build sin­gle-fam­i­ly homes in Lon­avala, India. The sailors also vol­un­teered for com­mu­ni­ty-ser­vice projects in Sin­ga­pore and Aus­tralia.

The deploy­ment is sched­uled to last through June.

(Navy Lt. Jen­nifer Cragg works in the New Media branch of the Defense Media Activ­i­ty.)

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →