General Richardson, commander of US Southern Command, will visit Colombia

USNS Comfort in Cartagena, Colombia

During the ceremonial bridge, Army General Laura Richardson, commander of the United States Southern Command (Southcom) will arrive in the country. During his visit to the country, he will check on humanitarian missions and hold meetings with government officials.

According to the US Embassy in Colombia, the visit will take place November 13-15 in order to commit to the ongoing Promise 2022 medical humanitarian mission and visit the crew of the USNS Comfort ship located in Cartagena.

This ship, which provides medical assistance to countries associated with the United States, deployed the humanitarian mission on October 23, on an itinerary through December 15 that includes Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

He arrived in Cartagena on November 12, where he will anchor until November 17 to provide medical assistance to nearly eight thousand vulnerable people in the heroic city. About 1,000 Americans will accompany the Colombian Navy and the Department of Health in continuing the promise. Thanks for your hard work and dedication. I look forward to seeing the smiles of those who will give and receive help. Those smiles are what “The Continuing Promise” is all about, said Ambassador to Bogota Francisco El Palmieri during the mission’s opening.

USNS Comfort in Cartagena, Colombia
USNS Comfort in Cartagena, Colombia

The ship houses 900 US military doctors, 90 volunteers from friendly countries (Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and the Netherlands), 80 US National Guard soldiers, and 50 soldiers from Task Force Bravo. It works for that country and that has established itself as the first advance component of Southern Command in Central America. The staff includes doctors, nurses, service and logistics personnel, technicians, seafarers and experts in various specialties.

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People visiting the ship will have access to general surgery, orthopedics, eye surgery, primary care, preventive medicine, dental examinations and treatments, optometry and eyeglass distribution, among others such as veterinarians.

According to the National Navy, residents will be able to visit the “Ignacio Amador de la Peña” Coliseum for Combat Sports and Gymnastics and the “Antonia Santos” Ethno-Educational and Inclusive Institution for free medical care in the areas of general surgery, orthopedics, public health education, pathology Women, preventive medicine, orthopedics, ophthalmology, dermatology, dentistry and pediatrics.

This is the eighth time for this hospital ship to visit the region since 2007 and the seventh in Colombia, within the framework of cooperation relations between the two countries. These missions have provided services to more than 582,000 people, including more than 7,000 surgical operations.

Regarding General Richardson’s visit, the US Embassy in Colombia stated that it plans to visit Colombian military units in Cartagena, as well as travel to the center of the country to learn about the contribution to Colombia’s security, and to support regional cooperation in the field of safety.

USNS Comfort in Cartagena, Colombia
USNS Comfort in Cartagena, Colombia

The embassy stated that “the defense partnership between the two countries includes cooperation against regional threats and challenges, capacity-building exercises, bilateral training, exchange of experiences, events that promote women’s participation in defense and security tasks, and professional development commitments.”

Southern Command is one of six unified commands of the Department of Defense, with responsibility for security cooperation with defense and public safety forces in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

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The ambassador to Colombia noted that there will also be a knowledge exchange between North American and Colombian workers, and there will be music lessons and performances, as well as work on humanitarian projects that even include redesigning local schools. “The United States will always be here to contribute to the welfare of Colombians,” Palmieri stressed.

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Amber Cross

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