USNS Comfort departs San Juan after assessing situation

The US Military Sealift Command ship USNS Comfort has departed San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is now underway standing ready for additional mission assignments.

Comfort is currently underway and expected to arrive and provide medical services in the Aricibo-Manati region.

While in San Juan, the hospital ship treated a total of 66 patients including 10 who were admitted for further care aboard the ship.

Comfort received five critical patients from Ryder Memorial Hospital in Humacao, Puerto Rico, after its generator failed.

The possibility of hospitals in Puerto Rico failing due to running on emergency generators for extended lengths of time had been planned for by Comfort, the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA) and other Federal and local agencies.

Patients were medevaced by the Sea Knights of Navy Helicopter Sea Squadron (HSC) 22 and Army Blackhawks.

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.

The hospital ship has one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States and is equipped with four X-ray machines, one CT 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. Its secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.