One of two U.S. government-owned hospital ships has been ordered to prepare to get underway to provide support for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
The Department of Defense on Tuesday directed the USNS Comfort to prepare to deploy to Puerto Rico amid ongoing recovery and relief efforts on the U.S. commonwealth. The Comfort is equipped with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a CAT-scan, and radiology capabilities, and has 72-96 hour prep time.
The hospital ship is currently at its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
USNS Comfort is being deployed under U.S. Navy service authorities and will provide additional medical capabilities, if requested, the DoD said.
USNS Comfort is one of two Government-owned hospital ships operated by the Military Sealift Command. The ship is crewed by 71 civil service personnel.
The Trump Administration’s decision to deploy the USNS Comfort comes two days after Hillary Clinton tweeted that the President should send the Navy to Puerto Rico, including USNS Comfort.
President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens. https://t.co/J2FVg4II0n
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 24, 2017