En español | Since it was converted from a San Clemente-class supertanker into an acute surgical medical facility in 1987, the USNS Comfort, part of the Navy's Military Sealift Command, has provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief around the world. More than 550,000 people have received care provided by it and its sister ship, USNS Mercy, since 2001. Today, it is providing relief to New York hospitals strained by the number of patients infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
"This will right away be making a difference in this city and we are so, so grateful to the Navy, to the military that this new ship will be arriving in our city,” said New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, ahead of the naval ship's arrival on March 30.
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PHOTO BY: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
On a mission to assist New York City hospitals responding to the coronavirus outbreak, the ship pushed away from Naval Station Norfolk (Virginia) on March 28, 2020, on its way up the East Coast. When it is not deployed, the USNS Comfort is maintained in a state of readiness by civil service mariners and Navy medical personnel.
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PHOTO BY: ANTHONY BEHAR/SIPA USA/Associated Press
USNS Comfort sailed into New York Harbor and up the Hudson River to dock at the city's Pier 90. Although it is not currently treating those infected with the coronavirus, it is accepting the overflow of patients from local hospitals.
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PHOTO BY: Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press
Here is a glimpse inside the floating hospital in 2007, when medical personnel tended to patients from Haiti. While stationed at Port-au-Prince, free vaccinations, eye exams, dental treatment and surgical procedures were provided.
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PHOTO BY: STEVE HELBER/Associated Press
After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the ship conducted a patient flow drill and a mass casualty exercise to prepare for its arrival in the Gulf region. During 12 days in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the crew provided treatment to nearly 1,500 people. USNS Comfort then pulled into New Orleans to offer care to residents and emergency workers.
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PHOTO BY: Archisto Library / Alamy Stock Photo
The ship contains 12 operating rooms, a 1,000-bed hospital facility, digital radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab and two oxygen producing plants. When fully operational, USNS Comfort has a crew of about 71 civilians and up to 1,200 Navy medical and communications personnel.
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PHOTO BY: Military Collection / Alamy Stock Photo
The 894-foot-long hospital ship is equipped with a helicopter deck capable of landing large military helicopters. The ship also has side ports to take on patients at sea.
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PHOTO BY: dbimages / Alamy Stock Photo
The last time the USNS Comfort docked in New York was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The ship provided meals, housing and medical and psychological services to recovery workers during that time.
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