By Dialogo August 24, 2012 Approximately 1,600 inhabitants of Wapí and other surrounding towns, about 186 miles from the Nicaraguan capital, benefited from medical and dental care services sponsored by the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and U.S. Joint Task Force-Bravo, based out of Soto Cano, Honduras. According to the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua, the mission, which took place between August 15 and 18, consisted of 40 people, including medical, technical crews and support personnel who arrived in three U.S. Air Force helicopters. This mission is an integral part of the assistance program that the U.S. Military provides each year to Central American, South American and Caribbean countries. The medical missions in Wapí were supported by the Nicaraguan Army, municipal authorities, and personnel from the Comprehensive Health Care System, NicaSalud, the Peace Corps, and the U.S. International Development Agency. U.S. Military medical missions have assisted tens of thousands of Nicaraguans in recent years. In 2011, the humanitarian mission of the hospital ship Comfort offered medical and veterinarian services to residents of the Rivas Department. That same year, 45 members of the U.S. Air Force treated more than 10,000 patients in the Matagalpa Department.