BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s floating hospital is on another mission to help those in need.

Andrea Fujii reports the USNS Comfort left Thursday morning for Central America and the Caribbean, and it’s not just humans they’ll be helping.

The USNS Comfort had an early morning departure. The Comfort will be providing medical care for five months to nine countries — Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Peru.

“Providing surgical care, family practice, dental, optometry, things that they just can’t get,” said Andrew Johnson, hospital corpsman.

The USNS Comfort is a hospital ship docked at the Canton pier. This trip’s been a year in the making.

“We’ll actually be able to make false teeth and make ’em smile where they’re missing their front tooth. It’s little things like that that will make a big impact,” said Chief Amanda Doolitte, dental unit.

In January 2010, the ship travelled to earthquake-ravaged Haiti to help thousands of people. On this humanitarian mission, they hope to do the same.

“For me this represents the best things America has to offer, the ability to reach out and lend a helping hand,” said Captain David Weiss, commanding officer.

The patients also provide comfort to the 480 Navy medical personnel.

“Every time I leave a new place I have new friends, new contacts I keep in touch with,” said Grant Begley, Civil Service Mariner.

This is USNS Comfort’s sixth “continuing promise” mission. The Comfort has helped more than 300,000 people worldwide.

Besides human medical services, the USNS Comfort will provide veterinary care.

Comments (7)
  1. ARNOLD says:


  2. Colleen Lynn says:

    I wonder if they’ll send the USNS Mercy to Japan. I’m glad that the comfort is going to help the people (and animals) of Central America and the Caribbean.

  3. J says:

    Yeah, I just read they have nearly no place to put people at the moment over in Japan. They had better send the other ship over there if they are send Comfort down to the Caribbean for appears to be little more than a good will mission.

  4. pigeon says:

    I do not understand why they are not heading to Japan?!

  5. Brian says:

    If they send a ship to Japan it wouldn’t be the USNS Comfort anyway as it’s based in Baltimore. It would be the USNS Mercy, out of San Dieago.

  6. Mike says:

    Change course to Japan they could use both ships. We give enough free medical care to the South Americans here in the States. God bless our brave military men and women for their service.

  7. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    There are plenty of poor uninsured people living along the path of destruction caused by Katrina & the Gulf oil spill. How about tending to America’s needs first & then go south. Those governments have the resources but instead horde it like the thieves they are.

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