'USNS Mercy' had been ordered to prepare for sea and a deployment to support disaster relief efforts as part of Operation Damayan, but that order has been rescinded following a dramatic improvement in the provision of other medical facilities in the Philippines.
"Shifting Mercy from her normal reduced operating status to fully ready to deploy in a matter of days is a testament to the responsiveness and expertise of the Military Sealift Command, our Navy medical corps, and the shipyard civilian workforce in San Diego," said Pacific Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Steve Curry.
"Mercy was prepared for deployment as a prudent measure in the event that the scope and scale of the relief efforts in the Philippines necessitated the long-term, robust capabilities the hospital ship provides.
"Our friends needed our help, so we leaned forward to get Mercy ready to deploy early in the crisis, before the medical situation was completely known, due the time required to prepare the ship for sea, and transit to the Philippines," said Curry. "The medical situation in the Philippines has dramatically improved over the last two weeks, with numerous U.S. and international care providers currently operating in impacted areas, so the ship will not deploy."