The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Los Angeles on March 27 to support the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.
— Port of Los Angeles (@PortofLA) March 27, 2020
On March 23, Mercy departed Naval Base San Diego with over 800 Navy medical personnel and support staff with the afloat medical treatment facility (MTF), and over 70 civil service mariners.
The ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults. This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.
Mercy’s MTF is an embarked crew of medical personnel from the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) responsible for operating and maintaining one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States. 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.
USNS Mercy’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. Mercy’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian (HADR) operations worldwide.
Mercy is the first of two Mercy-class hospital ships. A converted San Clemente-class supertanker, Mercy was delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) on Nov. 8, 1986.
The Navy’s second Mercy-class hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is currently preparing for its upcoming medical relief mission to New York City.
The Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) operates the two ships which sustain the warfighting forces and deliver specialized maritime services in support of national security objectives in peace and war.