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USNS Mercy (T-AH 19)

- formerly oil tanker SS WORTH -
- Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force -

USNS MERCY is one of the two Hospital Ships of the Navy. Both ships are maintained by the Military Sealift Command and are part of the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (NFAF).

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: 1976 (the oil tanker)
Launched: July 20, 1985 (the hospital ship)
Commissioned: November 8, 1986
Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, Calif.
Propulsion system: two GE turbines
Propellers: one
Length: 894 feet (272.6 meters)
Beam: 106 feet (32.3 meters)
Draft: 33 feet (10 meters)
Displacement: approx. 69,350 tons full load
Speed: 17.5 knots
Aircraft: helicopter platform suitable for all helicopters
Armament: none
Homeport: San Diego, CA
Crew: Active: 63 MSC, 956 Naval medical staff and 258 Naval support staff
Inactive: 16 MSC and 40 Naval medical staff

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USNS MERCY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Notes of Interest:

USNS MERCY possesses a surgery with 12 operating theaters, an intensive-care unit with 80 beds and 1000 further beds.

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History of USNS MERCY:

USNS MERCY was built as an oil tanker, SS WORTH, by National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, in 1976. Starting in July 1984, she was renamed and converted to a hospital ship by the same company. Launched on 20 July 1985, USNS MERCY was commissioned 8 November 1986.

On 27 February 1987, MERCY began a training and humanitarian cruise to the Phillippines and the South Pacific. The staff included U.S. Navy, Army, and Air Force active duty and reserve personnel; U.S. Public Health service; medical providers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and MSC civilian mariners. Over 62,000 outpatients and almost 1,000 inpatients were treated at seven Philippine and seven South Pacific ports. MERCY returned to Oakland, CA, on 13 July 1987.

On 9 August 1990, MERCY was activated in support of Operation Desert Shield. Departing on 15 August, she arrived in the Arabian Gulf on 15 September. For the next six months, MERCY provided support to the multinational allied forces. She admitted 690 patients and performed almost 300 surgeries. After treating the 21 American and two Italian repatriated prisoners of war, she departed for home on 16 March 1991, arriving in Oakland on 23 April.

Since then, MERCY has annually participated in Exercise Kernel Blitz which is a simulated amphibious assault at Camp Pendleton.

USNS MERCY was activated for a humanitarian assistance deployment to Southeast Asia, departing San Diego in late April 2006. During its deployment, MERCY’s medical staff treated more than 60,000 patients, performed more than 1,000 surgeries, provided 16,000 pairs of eyeglasses, gave more than 19,000 immunizations and provided hands-on training to more than 6,000 host-nation attendees during sessions aboard ship and ashore. In addition to operating the giant hospital ship, the more than 60 civil service mariners aboard MERCY participated in a variety of humanitarian assistance projects ashore and operated small boats to shuttle patients and medical staff between ship and shore. MERCY returned to San Diego in September.

USNS MERCY, homeported in San Diego, CA, is currently in reduced operating status with a five day activation.

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The photos below were taken by me and show the MERCY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 10, 2008.

The photos below were taken by me and show the MERCY arriving at San Diego, Calif., on September 30, 2011, respectively at the Naval Base four hours later (the last four photos).

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