Pentagon: Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Prepares to Depart for Puerto Rico

September 26, 2017 5:54 PM
USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), one of the Navy’s two hospital ships. US Navy Photo

Responding to the need for humanitarian aid in Puerto Rico, hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is now preparing to get underway within 96 hours, according to a Department of Defense spokesperson.

According to news reports, while speaking at the White House Tuesday afternoon, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said Comfort would soon be traveling to Puerto Rico. Later in the day, a Department of Defense spokesperson confirmed Comfort was preparing to leave its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Comfort is an afloat, mobile, acute surgical facility, providing the same level of medical care found at a major shore medical hospital such as Naval Medical Center Portsmouth or the Maryland Trauma Center in Baltimore.

During normal pier side operations, Comfort has approximately 50 personnel who crew the ship, keeping it ready to quickly deploy. When activated, according to the Navy, Comfort’s crew grows to approximately 1,200 personnel.

Ben Werner

Ben Werner

Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff writer covering education and publicly traded companies for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from New York University.

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