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USNS Comfort Arrives in Puerto Rico to Aid Maria Relief Efforts

By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Ernest R. Scott Navy News Service

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Oct. 4, 2017 — The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived here yesterday to assist in humanitarian relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 3, 2017. The Comfort will help support Hurricane Maria aid and relief operations. The Defense Department is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Maria to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. Air Force photo by Capt. Christopher Merian
The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria
The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 3, 2017. The Comfort will help support Hurricane Maria aid and relief operations. The Defense Department is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Maria to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. Air Force photo by Capt. Christopher Merian

During a news conference here today, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the Comfort's arrival gives officials the flexibility to help in more hurricane-affected areas.

Whole-of-Government Response

While in San Juan, the hospital ship will host a summit with key stakeholders to synchronize efforts for the ship's mission throughout the area.

Comfort is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has more than 800 personnel embarked for the Puerto Rico mission including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.

Trauma Facilities

The hospital ship has one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States and is equipped with four X-ray machines, one CAT scan unit, a dental suite, an optometry lens laboratory, physical therapy center, pharmacy, angiography suite and two oxygen-producing plants.

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.


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