The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort.
Washington — The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is
on its way to earthquake-stricken Haiti with medical teams
“I suspect that we will have medical and naval assets
in Haiti [for] six months minimum, and I think longer than
that,” Navy Vice Admiral Adam Robinson, the chief
of naval medicine, said January 16 shortly before the Comfort
left Baltimore for the Caribbean. Since a magnitude 7.0
earthquake struck Haiti January 12, the Navy has been readying
the Comfort for duty.
The ship had just completed a four-month humanitarian mission
to the Caribbean and Latin America and was undergoing a
full overhaul when the call came to get ready for emergency
duty. In less than 72 hours, the 250-bed ship sailed with
a full crew of 550 medical and health professionals on board.
Most of the medical staff came from the National Naval Medical
Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Portsmouth Naval Hospital
in Virginia. The ship includes staff from all the branches
of the U.S. military and the Public Health Service.
The ship is scheduled to arrive off Port-au-Prince by January
Help save lives in Haiti: Visit the White
House Web site for options. The International Committee
of the Red Cross provides a service
to help people find loved ones and the State Department
has a Person
Finder where people can post information about persons
missing in Haiti.