USNS Mercy Returns Following Humanitarian Mission in SE Asia

press release
Friday, September 14, 2012
Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 20)

Seventy civil service mariners, and approximately 400 Navy, Army and non-governmental organization (NGO) personnel aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 20) returned to San Diego Sept. 14.

 

They steamed more than 20,000 miles - nearly the distance of circling the equator - to Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia as the lead vessel for Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12), in a nearly five-month humanitarian and civic assistance mission that resulted in medical treatment for nearly 50,000 people. Many of the ship's mission personnel - which total about 1,200 service members and civilians - have already returned home.

 

The 894-foot Mercy, one of two U.S. Navy hospital ships, is operated by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command. MSC's civil service mariners were responsible for Mercy's operation and navigation. In addition, since the ship is too large for pierside visits, mariners operated small boats to transport patients and personnel between ship and shore.

 

Doctors and nurses from the ship's U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery-led medical treatment facility worked with medical professionals from numerous governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and the host nations to provide medical care, including immunizations, general and specialty surgeries, dental care and vision services. At the invitation of the host nations, PP12 brought the expertise of U.S. service members and personnel from 13 partner nation militaries and 28 NGOs to build and strengthen relationships and work together to learn how to better collectively respond to natural disasters and crisis.

 

As part of the medical outreach effort, which took place both ashore and aboard the ship, Mercy's team treated more than 49,000 people ashore, including dental care and services like the distribution of eyeglasses and sunglasses. The team performed more than 900 shipboard surgeries, and treated or evaluated more than 7,000 livestock and domestic animals.

 

In addition, the Mercy team conducted more than 60,000 hours during 62 subject-matter expert exchanges in the four countries visited on topics including first aid, nursing, cardiology, orthopedics, nutrition, disaster response, water and food safety, and public health promotion.
 

U.S., Australian and host-nation engineers built or refurbished 13 buildings and the crew collectively participated in more than 100 community service projects to include the delivery of 244 pallets (more than 144,000 pounds) of donated supplies requested by host nations.

 

Pacific Partnership 2012 is a U.S. Pacific Fleet mission led by three different element commanders: civilian Capt. Jonathan Olmsted, Mercy's civil service master; Navy Capt. James Morgan, commander for the overall Pacific Partnership mission; and Navy Capt. Timothy Hinman, commander of the medical treatment facility responsible for providing care aboard Mercy and ashore.

 

"My most profound memory was watching six surgeries - all of which were performed in a 30-minute timeframe while we were anchored off the Philippines," said Olmsted, who has overall responsibility for Mercy's movement and the safety of its nearly 1,000 passengers. "We saw four children and two adults receive life-changing procedures including cataract transplants, tumor removals, and other corrective surgery. That's when it really hit me why PP12 is so important."

 

Supply utilityman Carmelita Kawasaki said that the mission's success is evident from the facial expressions of those receiving help. Kawasaki noticed this especially while volunteering her sleep hours to work at a public elementary school in Indonesia. "You can feel the gratitude and happiness in their hearts, and sense that we are very welcome in their place," she said.

 

Engine utilityman Darlene Mertz, who works in Mercy's vast, engineering spaces, cites a memory from Vietnam as her favorite from the trip.

 

"I was walking down a ship's passageway after a long and hot eight-hour watch in the engine room when I ran into a group of patients," said Mertz. "An elderly woman stopped me and asked, via her translator, what I do on the ship. I told her I work in the engine room keeping the boilers on so we have steam for the ship's propulsion and power for the hospital. She looked at me and said, 'thank you for being here.'"

 

Military Sealift Command operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.
 


People & Company News

MN100: Guido Perla & Associates, Inc.

The Company: With offices in the US, Brazil, Chile, China and Germany, GPA developed into an independent, full-service naval architecture and marine engineering

Grand Bahama Shipyard Expands Sales Team

Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited (GBSL) has added three regional sales directors to its Marketing and Sales Division, with posts in the Americas, Europe and Asia/Middle East.

MN100: Kohler Marine

The Company: Kohler Marine generators are produced in the United States and distributed globally. Kohler Marine sales as well as aftermarket sales and service activities are globally organized.

Navy

Ingalls Secures Design Work for US Navy’s New LX(R) Ships

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $13.7 million contract (with incremental funding) to perform contract design effort for the U.

This Day In Naval History: August 31

1842 - Congress replaces the Board of Navy Commissioners, a group of senior officers who oversee naval technical affairs, with the five technical Bureaus, ancestors of the Systems Commands.

Long Beach Port Acquires 125 Acres for Cargo Ops

U.S. Navy, Maritime Administration and California Environmental Protection Agency representatives joined City and Port officials today to commemorate the approval

Eye on the Navy

Ingalls Secures Design Work for US Navy’s New LX(R) Ships

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $13.7 million contract (with incremental funding) to perform contract design effort for the U.

This Day In Naval History: August 31

1842 - Congress replaces the Board of Navy Commissioners, a group of senior officers who oversee naval technical affairs, with the five technical Bureaus, ancestors of the Systems Commands.

This Day In Naval History: August 30

1923 - USS Colorado (BB 45) is commissioned. Notable during her pre-World War II service, she helps in the search for missing aviator, Amelia Earhart, in 1937. During WWII,

People in the News

Grand Bahama Shipyard Expands Sales Team

Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited (GBSL) has added three regional sales directors to its Marketing and Sales Division, with posts in the Americas, Europe and Asia/Middle East.

W&O Promotes Key Associates

W&O, a distributor of pipe, valves, fittings as well as automation and engineered solutions, announced the promotion of two associates: Lori Ulrich to Director,

KfW IPEX-Bank Boosts its Presence at SMM

In an interview the departing head of the KfW IPEX-Bank Maritime Industries department, Dr. Carsten Wiebers offers insight into the facets of international ship

Government Update

Calm Seas, Libya's Lawless State Open Door for Migrant Flows

Calmer seas and Libya's lawlessness have opened the way for smugglers to ship thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean this week, in a striking reminder of

Hyundai Merchant Marine to buy Hanjin's 'Good' Assets

South Korea's financial regulator said on Wednesday that Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd will seek to acquire healthy assets of troubled shipper Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd.

Hanjin files for Receivership, Ports Turn Away Vessels

Hanjin says asks court for its assets to be frozen; Hyundai Merchant looking to buy Hanjin's "good" assets. South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd filed for court

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2065 sec (5 req/sec)