NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The USNS Comfort hospital ship left Norfolk Wednesday, Oct. 19 on a scheduled humanitarian aid mission to the Latin America/Caribbean region.

For the next two months, the U.S. Fourth Fleet’s Continuing Promise 2022 mission will make stops in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras to provide medical and humanitarian assistance. It’s the 12th such mission in the region since 2007 and eighth involving the Comfort, the Navy says.

Aid will also include training locals on various medical and humanitarian topics. Medical teams will also hold seminars on “women, peace and security” and provide veterinary care.

“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,” the Navy says.

The Comfort’s crew consists of about 1,000 military and civilian personnel. Military personnel from partner nations will be embarked on the ship during this mission.

Continuing Promise was established in 2007. In that time, USNS Comfort has treated almost half a million patients and conducted more than 7,000 surgeries.

This will be the ship’s eighth mission.

“A lot of their populations have been put into poverty as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, and they’re trying desperately to recover from this,” said U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson. “The USNS Comfort will definitely help increase the partnership, but it will help these nations that are struggling from the impact of all the challenges that they are facing.”