Padang, Indonesia. (October 19, 2020): Few images demonstrate the compassion of the American people like that of the Hospital Ship USNS Mercy. Resting peacefully at her berth, the Mercy is ready to deliver surgical services to needy patients no matter where they live in the world.
Commissioned in 1986, the Mercy is one of two American hospital ships (USNS Comfort is the other) that lead the annual Pacific Partnership exercises designed to improve the capacity of local partner nations to respond to a humanitarian crisis. Based in San Diego, California, the Mercy is a floating 1,000-bed fully equipped hospital complete with acute surgical facilities staffed by highly trained medical professionals and crewed by eight officers and 53 enlisted personnel.
Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness exercise held in the Indo-Pacific region. Host nations include Viet Nam, Palau, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands and partner nations include Australia, Chile, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
The mission is to work collectively to improve disaster response capabilities by building enduring friendships and cooperation among participating nations. During her five-month mission, the Mercy saw more than 15,000 patients and participated in more than 80 host nation outreach events including disaster relief workshops. Medical subject matter experts were dispatched to help improve the capacity of local governments, civilian agencies, and partner militaries to collectively respond to crises.
The Mercy is the third American vessel to bear the name, the first built in 1907 as a troop transport ship to shuttle U.S. troops to Europe during World War I. In this role, she treated wounded servicemembers and transported them from ships to shore hospitals.
Humanitarian ships like Mercy show the world America’s compassion and willingness to help those less fortunate. The annual Pacific Partnership exercises reassure our allies that America will be there when they need us.Won’t you be there for America’s active duty deployed servicemembers? Consider contributing to Support Our Troops, a national charity that delivered over $40 million of tangible support to America’s military servicemembers in the last year with 97 percent of every dollar spent on services. By donating to Support Our Troops’ Patriot Brigade®, you will join thousands of Americans who make monthly donations to pay for comfort items and recreational programs for our military deployed overseas. Please go to our secure website https://supportourtroops.org/donate to contribute to America’s finest today!