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Hospital Ships - T-AH

Description: Two hospital ships operated by Military Sealift Command are designed to provide emergency, on-site care for U.S. combatant forces deployed in war or other operations.

Features:USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) each contain 12 fully-equipped operating rooms, a 1,000 bed hospital facility, radiological services, medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a cat scan and two oxygen producing plants. Both vessels have a helicopter deck capable of landing large military helicopters, as well as side ports to take on patients at sea.

Background: Both hospital ships are converted San Clemente-class super tankers. Mercy was delivered in 1986 and Comfort in 1987. Normally, the ships are kept in a reduced operating status in Baltimore, Md., and San Diego, Calif., by a small crew of civilian mariners and active duty Navy medical and support personnel. Each ship can be fully activated and crewed within five days. Mercy went to the Philippines in 1987 for a humanitarian mission. Both ships were used during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Comfort twice operated during 1994 once for Operation Sea Signal's Cuban/Haitian migrant interdiction operations, and a second time supporting U.S. forces and agencies involved in Haiti and Operation Uphold Democracy. In 1998, Comfort participated in exercise Baltic Challenge '98, a multinational exercise involving 11 European nations and the United States to improve cooperation in peace support operations

Point of contact:
Public Affairs Office
Military Sealift Command
Washington, DC 20398-5540
(202) 685-5055 or www.msc.navy.mil

General Characteristcs: Mercy Class

Conversion: National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, Calif.
Power Plant: 2 GE turbines; two boilers; 24,500 hp (18.3MW); one shaft
Length: 894 feet (272.6 meters)
Beam: 105.6 feet (32.2 meters)
Displacement: 69,360 tons (70,473.10 metric tons) full load
Speed: 17.5 knots (20.13 mph)
Aircraft: Helicopter platform only
Ships: No homeports assigned
USNS Mercy (T-AH 19)
USNS Comfort (T-AH 20)
Crew: 63 civilian mariners, 956 Naval medical staff, and 258 Naval support staff


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