USNS Comfort Completes New York Mission, Heads Home

Posted on Apr 27, 2020 07:00 pm

The USNS Comfort will leave the New York Harbor after a nearly monthlong mission to treat non-COVID-19 patients and free up local hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. Crew on the 1,000-bed ship treated only 182 patients, because local hospitals were able to manage the patient load.

“We had the extra capacity – if it was needed – and fortunately it wasn’t needed, so I think that is a win,” Capt. Joseph O’Brien, who commands Norfolk-based Amphibious Squadron 6 and is commander of Task Force New York City supporting the COVID-19 mission, told USNI News.

The treatments were slow to ramp up, as medical responders said the process of clearing patients to send to the ship were too onerous. Eventually patients were able to be pre-screened on the dock before boarding the ship for treatment.

The ship is expected to return home to Virginia to await another deployment.

“Everybody aboard this ship left somebody behind in a time of need, a national crisis,” Capt. Patrick Amersbach, the military treatment facility commander, said. “Allowing that to occur with as little drama as possible is a testament to the strength of those still in the Norfolk, Newport News and Portsmouth area and of course our reservists and their families as well.”

Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman


Post courtesy of the Association of Defense Communities

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