CHIRIQUI GRAND, Panama --
Continuing Promise Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen and Panamanians gathered during an opening ceremony in Punta Pina, Panama, Sept. 28, to commence the 10-day humanitarian civic assistance mission in support of Continuing Promise 2010 – Partnership of the Americas.
The ceremony took place at a school in Punta Pina, which was being used as a medical site where Marines from Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force CP10 translated for medical personnel to help Panamanian citizens receive the proper medical aid.
“Although the Special-Purpose MAGTF will not be conducting a subject-matter expert exchange with Panama’s military, we still have Marines who play a vital role in this mission,” said Lt. Col. Chris S. Richie, commanding officer of Special-Purpose MAGTF CP10. “We have Marines working side by side with the Joint Medical team as translators, working with seabees at construction sites and volunteering at different community relations events. Our Marines’ work ethic, positive attitude and professionalism have greatly impressed the CP10 team.”
As Marines continued to help Panamanians receive medical attention, the New Harmony Air Force Band of Flight kicked off the ceremony by playing the Panama and U.S. national anthems.
“The international Continuing Promise team is very excited to be here in Panama to work with you in this very important humanitarian mission,” said Navy Capt. Thomas M. Negus, commodore of CP10. “I pledge to you the work of the entire Continuing Promise team our work, our hands, our hearts and our heads as we work with you, our Panamanian partners in bringing humanitarian assistance to this region.”
Alongside U.S. service members, the CP10 team is also comprised of non-government organizations, such as Project Hope, Registered Nurses Response Network and Give a Kid a Backpack, and foreign militaries to include Germany, Paraguay, Canada, Netherlands, Costa Rica and Panama. CP10 mission personnel will spend their time in Chiriqui Grand region in Panama working at medical sites, engineering and community relations sites providing medical, dental and veterinary services.
“Though we bring doctors, dentists, veterinarians and engineers, what we really bring is a message … a message of commitment and partnership,” said Negus. “That commitment is strong and sustained, meaningful and based on mutual respect. As you have opened and shared your community with us, we share our commitment and partnership with you.”
For more information on the Continuing Promise 2010 Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, please visit the unit’s official website at http://www.marines.mil/unit/2ndMAW/SPMAGTF.