8:09 pm | Thursday, November 14th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines – A US Navy hospital ship will come to the Philippines to support disaster relief efforts in areas ravaged by the supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).
Expected to dock in the Philippines this December, naval ship “Mercy” was activated by US Pacific Fleet on Wednesday for immediate deployment, commander of the US Pacific Fleet Admiral Harry Harris Jr. said in an official statement.
“If ordered to deploy, Mercy would get underway in the next several days and could arrive in the Philippines sometime in December, joining other US Pacific Fleet units already supporting Operation Damayan,” the Pentagon’s humanitarian assistance program for “Yolanda” victims launched in cooperation with the US Agency for International Development. Damayan in Filipino means “help in time of need”.
As of posting time, the US has transported more than 107,000 pounds of relief supplies.
In the official website of USNS Mercy has three to four operating rooms, one emergency room, four Intensive Care Unit beds and isolation ward, 62 ward beds and 22 hotel beds.
The US Navy will also send amphibious ships USS Ashland (LSD 48), USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), which were expected to arrive in the country starting Thursday.
“This collection of ships and their complement of aircraft, to include much-needed helicopters, will provide food and water, the capability to move relief supplies to isolated areas, and to help move the badly injured for medical care,” Harris said.
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