USNS Comfort hospital ship arrives in Puerto Rico

The U.S. Navy’s hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) has arrived at the port of San Juan in Puerto Rico on Tuesday Oct. 3 for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

USNS Comfort departed Naval Station Norfolk on Sept. 29 Friday with over 800 Navy medical personnel and support staff with the medical treatment facility (MTF), and over 70 civil service mariners.

The medical personnel will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general practice, family medicine, nephrology and pediatrics. The civil service mariners operate and navigate the ship, load and off-load mission cargo, assist with repairs to mission equipment and provide essential services to keep the MTF up and running.

Comfort’s MTF is an embarked crew of medical personnel from the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery responsible for operating and maintaining one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States.

The ship have enough material to attend to patients for thirty days and up to 200 patients daily.

The Comfort has previously been sent as relief for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, providing treatment to 1,500 people.

USNS Comfort (T-AH-20):

USNS Comfort is the second of two Mercy-class hospital ships of the U.S. Navy. A converted San Clemente-class supertanker, Comfort was delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) on Dec. 1, 1987.

USNS Comfort’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare. Comfort’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

The hospital has a full spectrum of surgical and medical services including four X-rays, one CAT scan unit, a dental suite, an optometry and lens laboratory, a physical therapy center, a pharmacy, an invasive angiography suite and two oxygen-producing plants. Comfort also maintains up to 5,000 units of blood.

When not deployed, USNS Comfort is kept in a reduced operating status but can transition to full operating status in five days.

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