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Hospital ship USNS Comfort returns from 5-month deployment

USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) provided medical assistance to areas of the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America.

NORFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Navy's hospital ship has returned home to Naval Station Norfolk, following a five-month humanitarian mission.

Back in June, the USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) left to provide medical assistance to areas of the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America. 

From June: Hospital ship USNS Comfort leaves on 5-month deployment

The ship carried nearly 200 medical professionals as well as a crew of 800. The Navy said the Comfort provided medical, surgical, dental, and optometry services during its 12 mission stops to Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.

"A little more than 70,000 patients that we saw in the onshore medical sites. We did over 1,200 surgeries onboard the ship," said Captain Patrick Amersbach, the Commanding Officer for USNS Comfort's Medical Treatment Facility.

Captain Brian Diebold is the Commodore for the Destroyer Squadron Four Zero. He said, "Not only did they show the best of America, but they went down there and they really made a difference."

This was the Comfort's seventh deployment to this region since 2007, but the first time for some to work onboard the comfort, like Captain Diebold. 

"This was the most personally and professionally rewarding deployment I've been a part of in my 30 years in the Navy," Diebold remarked.

The ship arrived back in Norfolk on Friday morning.

From 2018: Navy considering retiring one hospital ship, Mercy or Comfort

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