We are now two weeks from the beginning of our mission: Continuing Promise '09! A nearly five month long mission for the USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20) and her crew to Central and South America to provide humanitarian assistance in the form of medical care, surgical care, engineering projects, bio-medical equipment repair, education and training and numerous other ways to show that America cares.
Our mission will be to seven countries: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Panama, Columbia, El Salvador and Nicaragua. We sail from Baltimore in mid-March headed for Norfolk, VA, where we will finish our outfitting and welcome aboard much of the crew who will join us in this challenge. On April 1, 2009, we will sail from Norfolk enroute to Haiti. 120 days later, on July 31, 2009, we will return to Norfolk to off-load remaining supplies and equipment and on or about August 5th, we will set sail for Baltimor and return to our berth.
Today we are finishing the final planning for the Final Planning Conference that is being hosted onboard the USNS COMFORT. God also saw fit to bless Baltimore with its first snow storm of the year! I had five inches of snow on my car this morning and it's still coming down! Oh well, Semper Gumbi, "Always Flexible!"
The ship is still under construction and we're about to have 100+ visitors including several Flag Officers and senior civilian officials, so today will no doubt be a busy one! So enough prattling on! Back to work!