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U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy to Visit Micronesia

(July 18, 2008)

The United States Hospital Ship USNS Mercy will visit the Federated States of Micronesia next month. From late August to early September, the Mercy, which is one of two U.S. “floating hospitals,” will anchor in Chuuk Lagoon while performing humanitarian medical, dental, veterinary and construction assistance programs in the FSM’s most populous state. In addition to surgery and treatment aboard the ship, teams of U.S. military doctors, nurses, and engineers will conduct medical community outreach and humanitarian assistance activities at select islands within Chuuk Lagoon. Medical teams from the Mercy will also fly to Pohnpei and Yap in mid-August to provide services in municipalities and villages, working under the direction of Micronesian health authorities.

The Mercy is a converted oil tanker, 894-feet in length. This Naval ship is based in San Diego, California. It contains 12 fully equipped operating rooms, a 1,000-bed hospital, digital radiological services, a diagnostic and clinical laboratory, pharmacy, optometry lab, and two oxygen producing plants. The huge ship also has a helicopter deck capable of landing large military choppers as well as side ports to take on patients at sea.

Since departing California on May 1, the Mercy has visited the Philippines, Vietnam, East Timor and Papua New Guinea under the banner of an initiative called Pacific Partnership 2008. The Federated States of Micronesia will be the final port of call along the long route of this historic journey. The staff and crew of 900 men and women include U.S. Navy medical personnel, U.S. Public Health Service workers, U.S. Navy Seabees and embarked members of the U.S. Army and Air Force. Partner nations who have contributed to this mission include Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Republic of South Korea, Singapore, India, Indonesia and New Zealand. Also participating in the deployment are several non-governmental organizations that provide medical, dental, construction and other humanitarian services in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.