Local Nicaraguan officials hosted a ceremony at Municipal Park in Puerto Cabezas on Aug. 24 to commemorate the completion of USS Kearsarge’s (LHD 3) Continuing Promise (CP) 2008 operations in Nicaragua.
CP is a collaborative effort between the United States, partner militaries, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and partner-nation support organizations to build strong partnerships that can be called upon in the event of a regional situation requiring cooperative solutions.
During the 13-day operation in Nicaragua, embarked NGOs and military units worked side-by-side with partner-nation military and civilian professionals to provide medical, dental, optometry and veterinary care along with construction, renovation and small-scale civil engineering projects.
CP 08 members worked together with Nicaragua medical professionals to conduct nearly 1,950 dental exams and procedures, more than 2,000 optometry exams and 43 surgeries aboard Kearsarge. In addition, the CP team provided primary care to nearly 7,420 patients and filled more than 20,000 prescriptions at several sites in the area.
In the preventive medicine arena, teams also conducted classes on personal and industrial hygiene, the safe preparation of food and water, child development and infant cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
Engineers assigned to Navy Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 and Air Force Civil Engineering Squadron 5´s Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force completed projects at seven sites, including three schools and a well repair. The work included the construction of two sea huts, electrical upgrades, roof replacement, playground construction, replacing doors and windows, painting and landscaping.
Kearsarge service members also participated in various community relations projects at the Seabee sites, offering extra hands to help with landscaping work, construction and painting renovations. The crew also held a softball competition with the local team, the Puerto Cabezas Veteranos.
The Kearsarge CP tean now sails toward Santa Marta, Colombia where similar medical, veterinary, dental and engineering support will be provided.
The ship’s mission exemplifies the U.S. maritime strategy which emphasizes the importance of deploying forces building confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests.
Embarked units and organizations aboard Kearsarge for CP include Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8, Fleet Surgical Team 4; the U.S. Public Health Service; Navy Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202; Air Force Civil Engineering Squadron 5´s Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force; Navy Assault Craft Unit 2; Naval Beach Group 2; non-governmental organizations Operation Smile and Project Hope; U.S. Navy Maritime Civil Affairs Squadron 2; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 464. The CP team also included contingents of medical personnel from the armed forces of Canada, The Netherlands, France and Brazil.
Amy Kirk (NNS)