United States Ambassador to Peru Krishna R. Urs; Minister of Defense Jorge Moscoso Flores; and Minister of Health Zulema Tomás participated in a ceremony marking the end of the medical mission of the U.S. hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) in Callao. Between July 10 and 14, the medical crew of the USNS Comfort provided medical care to more than four thousand patients at two temporary medical sites in La Punta and La Perla, and performed an average of 20 surgeries per day aboard the ship over the five days. USNS Comfort Commodore, Captain Brian Diebold; commander of the medical mission of the USNS Comfort, Captain Kevin Buckley; Chief of Staff of the Peruvian Navy, Vice Admiral Manuel Váscones; President of the Defense Committee of the Congress of the Republic of Peru, Jorge del Castillo; Mayor of Lima, Jorge Muñoz; and Venezuelan Ambassador to Peru, Carlos Scull, attended the ceremony.
The visit of the USNS Comfort took place through an institutional cooperative agreement between Peru and the United States called “Operación Hermandad” (Operation Brotherhood). Ambassador Urs expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Defense, through the Peruvian Navy, as well as to the Peruvian National Police, the Ministry of Health, and regional and municipal authorities in carrying out this successful mission that provided medical attention to vulnerable populations.
The U.S. hospital ship USNS Comfort is on a five-month medical mission to twelve countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is the fourth visit of the USNS Comfort to Peru. In 2007 it visited the port of Salaverry, and in 2011 and 2018 it visited the port of Paita, treating over 27,000 patients during these four visits, providing services in adult general medicine, pediatric medicine, optometry, dentistry, dermatology, and other specialties.
Ambassador Urs remarked, “This deployment is only a small sample of the strong ties between the governments of the United States and Peru.” Over the last five years, the U.S. Department of Defense has contributed more than $122 million to the Peruvian government through training programs, equipment, exchanges, counter-narcotics activities, peacekeeping operations, and humanitarian aid. These contributions include the construction, equipping, and training of personnel for Emergency Operations Centers (COERs) in 15 regions of Peru.