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Photo via U.S. Navy.

U.S. Navy ship arrives in Costa Rica

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Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Navy expeditionary fast transport USNS Burlington (T-EPF 10) will deploy this July and August to the U.S. Southern Command area of operations as part of the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fleet’s Continuing Promise 2024 mission.

After several months of detailed planning, USNS Burlington is scheduled to visit Costa Rica.

During the nearly two-month-long mission,  the U.S. Navy ship will also dock in Jamaica,  Honduras, Colombia and Panama.

According to the U.S. Southern Command, the Continuing Promise 2024 mission marks the 14th mission to the region since 2007 and the second aboard USNS Burlington.

"The mission will foster goodwill, strengthen existing partnerships with partner nations, and encourage the establishment of new partnerships among countries, non-government organizations, and international organizations," authorities said in their statement.

The focus during each mission stop will be working alongside Costa Rica medical personnel to provide direct patient care and technical expertise in community clinics to improve medical readiness, strengthen partnerships, and enhance the combined capabilities of the U.S. Navy and the country to respond to public health disasters and humanitarian crises.

"30 U.S. Navy medical professionals, including general practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists, dentists, optometrists, and biomedical technicians from Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC Portsmouth, NMRTC Jacksonville, NMRTC Great Lakes, NMRTC Pensacola, NMRTC Camp Lejeune) and Naval Medicine Readiness and Logistics Command bring their expertise to this year’s iteration of Continuing Promise," they added.

“During Continuing Promise 2024, we're working side-by-side and step-by-step with our partners," said Rear Adm. Jim Aiken, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Commander. "Our investment into the region is our enduring relationships, and we are committed to ensuring improved interoperability and collaborative regional security together. We gain so much by this opportunity to serve alongside true professionals.”

The Continuing Promise team includes a U.S. Army veterinary team from the 248th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service Support), which will collaborate with host nation colleagues to provide direct public health education and animal care at local veterinary organizations.

U.S. Navy Seabees from Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 1 will assist in some Costa Rican communities' engineering projects. U.S. Navy experts will host seminars and training exercises with Costa Rica civilian officials and military professionals covering disaster preparedness and response. These exchanges aim to support Costa Rica facilities, improve readiness, and empower local and national officials with the knowledge and experience to act with confidence during emergencies.

“Actions certainly speak louder than words and Continuing Promise 2024 will certainly demonstrate that,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Maloney, Continuing Promise 2024 mission commander. “It is a way for us to collaborate and work alongside our partners in the Caribbean, Central and South America and make a positive impact in local communities at each stop.”

Continuing Promise will also resume its popular series of seminars on the prevention of gender-based violence in support of the mission’s Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) initiative.

WPS is a United Nations (UN) initiative that started with UNSCR 1325 signed in 2000. The UN resolution is a public acknowledgment that women are more adversely impacted by conflict and crisis, and including women in security planning will lead to a more peaceful world.

Continuing Promise will feature the U.S. Fleet Forces Band, “Uncharted Waters”. The band will embark on USNS Burlington to conduct classes at community schools, collaborate with military and civilian musical organizations in the country, and entertain local communities with concerts at each mission stop. This cultural exchange aims to strengthen community ties and foster goodwill.

USNS Burlington is an expeditionary fast transport (EPF) operated by Military Sealift Command and crewed by 26 Civil Service Mariners led by Ship Master, Capt. Tyler Driscoll.  The crew composition follows a commercial model of bridge and engineering watches.

The ship is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran capable of regional transport of personnel and cargo lift, providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances.

Burlington will bring the personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to conduct the Continuing Promise mission, as well as act as the mission’s logistics and command hub.

What other U.S. Navy ship should visit Costa Rica?
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