U.S. Navy USNS (T-AH 19) Mercy Accepts its First Patients in Los Angeles
U.S. Navy USNS (T-AH 19) Mercy Accepts its First Patients in Los Angeles

U.S. Navy USNS (T-AH 19) Mercy Accepts its First Patients in Los Angeles

The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) accepted its first patients in Los Angeles March 29 during its support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our crew for all the hard work they did to get us here and ready in such a short time,” said Capt. John Rotruck, Mercy’s Military Treatment Facility commanding officer. “Being able to accept our first patients is a true testament of the teamwork between Mercy, the Navy, the State of California, the county of Los Angeles, and the City and Port of L.A.”

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Sailors assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) treat a patient from Los Angeles medical facilities.
Sailors assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) treat a patient from Los Angeles medical facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abigayle Lutz)

While in Los Angeles, 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.

Mercy is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has personnel embarked for the Los Angeles mission, including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.

U.S. Marine Corps guides an ambulance toward the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in Los Angeles. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexa M. Hernandez/Released)
U.S. Marine Corps guides an ambulance toward the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in Los Angeles. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexa M. Hernandez/Released)

Mercy’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable, and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare. Mercy’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

U.S. 3rd Fleet is operating as the Maritime Command Element, West, for U.S. Naval Forces Northern Command (NAVNORTH), under U.S. Northern Command for Defense Support of Civil Authorities in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead agency.

Logistics Specialist 1st Class Tavares Littleton, from Chicago, raises the National Ensign during morning colors aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).   (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
Logistics Specialist 1st Class Tavares Littleton, from Chicago, raises the National Ensign during morning colors aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
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