Dominica is behind us, Antigua before us! We left the Dominican Republic yesterday around noon and headed south enroute to Antigua Barbuda, a small island nation in the eastern Carribean.
Only one problem: We're thirsty! This morning we met up with the supply ship USNS ROBERT E. PEARY (T-AKE-5) to take on JP-5 fuel for our birds and lots of pallets of supplies that are coming to us.
An UNREP is an awesome display of ship-driving expertise and teamwork. You've got about 100,000 tons or more of ships practically within spitting distance of each other, moving along in perfect synchronization, while helicopters are buzzing over head, waves are crashing between the ships, pallets are being loaded and unloaded, fuel is being pumped, and the professionals that make it all happen make it look almost effortless!
We've been busy so far on this deployment. We've finished two of the seven countries we will visit: Haiti and Dominican Republic. So far on this deployment, we have treated about 17,000 patients and they have seen a Physician, Dentist or Optometrist over 18,400 times. We have performed 383 surgeries, many of which were life-altering, and we have provided a total of over 73,400 Health Care Services (these include medications, lab tests, x-rays, flouride treatments, etc.).
As our Mission Commander, Commodore Lineberry is fond of saying, we've finished two innings of a nine inning game (seven missions and two liberty ports!). We're proud of what we've accomplished, but we have a long way to go!