Hospital ship Comfort sails for Haiti
Itâ€™s pretty amazing that the USNS Comfort is able to do what it does. This ship, now going to Haiti to provide relief for a ravaged country, has a caretaker crew most of the time.
About 80 sailors and another 60 civilian mariners maintain the ship between deployments. The Comfort deploys for scheduled operations about once every two years. The ship came back from a deployment providing humanitarian aid last year.
But the earthquake in Haiti â€“ one of the poorest countries in the world â€“ meant that the ship had to deploy.
The ship needed a full crew. They needed to get the dining facility running and they needed to turn on the water all over the ship. And they needed to ensure there were berths for the medical detachments that poured in from around the Navy.
The scheduled deployments are planned to the nth degree. There are site visits and exchanges with the U.S. embassies and nongovernmental agencies. This deployment is just â€œgrab it and go.â€
And the medical staff and crew are doing it. Most of the medical staff comes from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia. But there are force protection sailors and corpsmen from more distant bases. The aviation detachment is from Norfolk, Va.
In many cases, this trip is the first time these sailors have met each other.
There is confusion. The first night, sailors were wandering the passageways â€“ thatâ€™s what the Navy calls halls â€“ looking for their bunks. Cargo handlers stacked supplies on the flight deck, knowing it was more important to get underway than it was to have everything perfectly stowed. Just learning everyoneâ€™s name took time.
But there has been amazing cooperation among the crew and the medical staff. They understand they have a mission to save lives and everything else is secondary.
That they can work together at all is a testament to their dedication. That they work together so well is a tribute to their military and professional training.
This will be a long deployment, and it will be tough. But itâ€™s been a good beginning.
(Jim Garamone of American Forces Press Service is reporting and blogging from USNS Comfort during its humanitarian deployment to Haiti.)
Table of contents for Haiti quake 2010
- Massive earthquake strikes Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – aftershocks continue
- Haiti earthquake aid
- Haiti quake damages pile up
- Horror in Haiti – the morning after the quake
- U.S. quickly responds to Haiti quake
- Infrastructure hurdles to Haiti quake relief
- U.S. Coast Guard on location in Haiti right now
- Strong aftershocks continue in Haiti
- PR Guard standing by – Gitmo damaged by Haiti quake
- Paras and Marines on alert for Haiti move
- Earthquake in Haiti update for January 13 evening
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 14 morning update
- Marines ready to assist Haiti after earthquake
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 14 evening
- FEMA report on Haiti relief efforts for January 15
- Out of the night sky – Air Force secures Port-au-Prince airport
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 15 evening
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers
- But people are dying – thoughts on the Haitian disaster
- Aftershocks continue to rock Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 16
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 16
- Hospital ship Comfort sails for Haiti
- Baby delivered during Haiti evacuation
- Navy is delivering supplies to Haiti victims
- Hospital ship Comfort racing to Haiti
- Country club serves as forward base for Paras in Haiti
- Situation at Port-au-Prince airport improving
- Sanjay Gupta Assists Vinson Medical Team in Haiti
- USAID Update on the Haiti relief operation January 18
- Air drop to aid Haitian victims of earthquake
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 18
- Earthquake in Haiti – morning update January 19
- Los Angeles rescuers save Haitian woman
- Stories from Haiti – update for Jan 20 morning
- American volunteers in Haiti
- American donations for Haiti earthquake relief – Jan 21
- Haiti earthquake relief update for Jan 21
- Haitians receiving care and support aboard Bataan
- Hospital ship Comfort healing, hugging Haitians
- Brief update on Navy and Marine relief efforts in Haiti Jan 23
- Fort Hood veterinary services unit sent to Haiti
- Harbor damage in Port-au-Prince
- American giving for Haiti relief as of January 25
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami
- Haitian Coast Guard base becomes hub for quake relief
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami Jan 28
- High tech warbird aids Haiti relief efforts
- High-speed ferrys en route to Haiti
- Southern Command briefs on Haiti situation
- Paras opening roads in Haiti
- Aid from Dominican Republic via Kentucky National Guard
- Haitian assistance stories for February 3
- Haitian relief efforts slow
- Marine calls Leogane Haiti home
- Haiti earthquake relief update for February 7
- Army medics at work in Haiti relief effort
- Haiti earthquake relief funding update for February 14
- Keeping Haitians informed
- A tent means a lot to Haitian orphans
- Italian troops aid paras in Haiti rubble clearance
- Landslide in Haiti tests Special Ops rescuers
- Navy and Marines bridge Haitian divide from government
- Haitian earthquake relief – update for February 28
- Haitian earthquake update – March 4
- Air Guard Engineers Help Haitians
- Things are baaaaad in Haiti
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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2010 at 10:57 am and is filed under Disasters, Medicine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.