NORFOLK (AP) -- The Baltimore-based hospital ship USNS Comfort is finishing up a five-month humanitarian mission to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The Comfort was pulling to the pier at Naval Station NOrfolk around noon Friday

About 175 staff members from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth were deployed with the hospital ship for Continuing Promise 2011. They are doctors, nurses, corpsmen, a dentist and dental techs, culinary specialists and administrative support personnel.

The ship's crew provided medical, dental, veterinary care and engineering support in nine countries while it was deployed. The Navy says the ship's crew treated more than 70,000 people both ashore and on board the Comfort's medical treatment facility.

The ship's final stop was in Haiti, which was also the site of its most recent deployment in support of international relief efforts following the devastating earthquake there in January 2010.

Comfort is scheduled to stay in Norfolk through Sept. 8 and then leave for her homeport in Baltimore.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-08-31-11 1145EDT

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