Dozens of local medical professionals attached to the Navy Reserve boarded the USNS Mercy as it prepared to ship out on a medical relief mission to Los Angeles.
Some 60 Navy reservist component sailors reported to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship at Naval Base San Diego one day ahead of its March 23 departure.
“The Navy Reserve prides itself on being a ready, agile force that provides responsive, vital support to the Navy and the Nation,” said Rear Adm. John Schommer, deputy commander of Commander, Navy Reserve Force. “Volunteer medical professionals from across the Navy Reserve have joined USNS Mercy and will soon join USNS Comfort to help serve our fellow citizens in need.”
Mercy is now underway to Los Angeles in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.
Mercy departed San Diego with over 800 Navy medical personnel and support staff with the afloat Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) and over 70 civil service mariners. 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.
Schommer said the specialized skill sets Navy Reserve Sailors bring will make them an indispensable force multiplier in support of this critical mission.
“I’m very proud of our citizen Sailors today,” said Schommer.
— Staff report
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