Hospital Ship Mercy Back in San Diego After 5-Month Humanitarian Mission

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The USNS Mercy docked at Naval Base San Diego after the Pacific Partnership mission. Navy photo

The iconic Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy is back in San Diego after a five-month humanitarian mission to Southeast Asia.

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The ship’s crew and Navy medical personnel visited Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, treating patients and practicing disaster response as part of the Pacific Partnership and RIMPAC exercises.

The Mercy was joined on its mission by the new expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River, which separately visited Yap, Palau, Borneo-Malaysia and Thailand.

“This has been one of those deployments I will never forget,” said Julie Flaherty, the Mercy’s civil service navigator. “Pacific Partnership touches so many lives, not just the people who receive our services, but also the crew who interact with and see the people who the mission helps, and whose mission on the ship ensures the medical teams can provide surgeries and care.”

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region. The exercise, now in its 13th year, included more than 800 military and civilian personnel from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, South Korea, Singapore and Japan.

“This year’s mission was a success all around,” said Capt. Brian Mershon, Mercy’s civil service master. “I couldn’t be happier with my crew and all their hard work. They are a true group of professionals and it was a pleasure to sail with them on this historic mission.”

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