Hospital Ship USNS Comfort to Move to NS Norfolk
The Navy announced Feb. 14 the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) will shift its layberth from Baltimore, Md., to Naval Station (NS) Norfolk.
Comfort’s current layberth contract in Baltimore runs through May 2013, if all options are exercised. The Navy plans to execute the layberth shift on or about March 1, 2013.
A number of factors contributed to the decision to shift the Military Sealift Command vessel to Norfolk, including an estimated annual savings of $1.7 million in the initial year and $2.1 million for following years; improved access to military facilities for the 59 permanent military members assigned to the ship; better use of the naval logistics hub and industrial base in Norfolk and a reduction in transit time to typical mission areas.
The move of Comfort from a commercial layberth in Baltimore to a government pier at NS Norfolk Pier 1 maximizes use of existing infrastructure and facilities, provides cost savings and operational advantages that enhance Comfort’s mission capability, and does not negatively impact medical staffing flexibility.
The mission of Comfort is to provide afloat medical capacity for acute medical and surgical care for forward deployed operational forces. As a secondary mission, the ship provides a full-service hospital asset in support of disaster relief, humanitarian assistance and defense support to civilian authorities worldwide.
Naval Today Staff , February 16, 2012; Image: navy