Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, has directed the activation of the hospital ship 'USNS Mercy' (T-AH 19) to be ready to support ongoing disaster relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
Berthed in San Diego, USNS Mercy has been in a reduced operating status, which is normal for a hospital ship. Harris' activation order accelerates Mercy's ability to attain full operating status to include moving necessary personnel and equipment to the ship.
If ordered to deploy, Mercy would get underway in the next several days and could arrive in the Philippines sometime in December, joining other U.S. Pacific Fleet units already supporting Operation Damayan.
If she proceeds to the Philippines, the hospital ship will be joining a large collection of Navy ships and other assets which are now providing food and water, and has the capability to move relief supplies to isolated areas, and to help move the badly injured for medical care.