USNS Mercy Arrives in Los Angeles
U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Los Angeles, Friday to support the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.
While in Los Angeles, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults. This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.
Operated by Military Sealift Command, Mercy is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has personnel embarked for the Los Angeles mission, including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.
Mercy’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable, and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare. The ship's secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.
On the U.S. East Coast, USNS Comfort is preparing for deployment to perform similar duties in New York.
At 7:30 a.m. Friday, Foss Maritime tugs Alta June, Bo Brusco, and Arthur Foss, along with Foss Sister Company AMNAV providing the tug Patricia Ann, met the USNS Mercy at the port’s “Angels Gate” entrance. The tugs escorted her to a security sweep location before finally assisting her into the Port of Los Angeles Berth 93, where she will remain for the foreseeable future. The vessel was declared “All Fast” to the dock at 9:30 a.m.
“Foss is proud and honored to assist this important vessel into port,” said Paul Hendriks, General Manager of the Foss Southern California Office. “Leading the way was Captains John Strunk, Ryan San Jose, Stan Sato and Drew Kerlee (AMNAV), who have a combined 85 years of experience providing safe operations in the harbor.”
Foss Maritime has a long history of service to U.S. Government agencies in time of national crises, including FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), U.S. Transcom, SDDC and USAID. The Foss “Always Safe. Always Ready.” motto has been called upon often over the past decade with response and service efforts following the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 (food aid and port reconstruction), Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (operating pumps and generators) and Hurricanes Maria and Erma in Puerto Rico in 2017 (utility truck delivery and deployment of three accommodation vessels).
“While we are happy to see the USNS Mercy docked at the port ready to serve, we hope her stay is a short one which would indicate that the medical crisis is subsiding and the shoreside medical community can care for those impacted by the COVID-19 virus,” said Hendriks. “The medical assistance the USNS Mercy has provided to impoverished communities around the world for the past 45 years has been nothing but life changing for the tens of thousands of patients they’ve treated. She is truly a beacon of hope.”