After Samar, US hospital ship docks in SubicCebu Daily News
Subic Bay Freeport — The USNS Mercy, a United States naval hospital ship engaged in humanitarian and disaster response missions in the Pacific, docked in Subic Bay yesterday for a port call.
Capt. Jim Morgan, Pacific Partnership Mission commander, said the the USNS Mercy docked in Subic for a “logistics and relaxation visit.” He said the ship came from Calbayog City in Samar as part of the US Navy’s Pacific Partnership, a humanitarian and civic assistance mission conducted with and through partner nations like the Philippines. Morgan said the visit had nothing to do with the country’s conflict with China over the Panatag Shoal. He said this mission was the 25th anniversary of USNS Mercy’s maiden voyage to Samar, and that the ship had visited the country four times.
Reporters went on board the USNS Mercy through a 30-minute helicopter ride to the West Philippine sea. After landing, the reporters were given a tour of the ship and briefed on its medical mission in the Pacific. At about 5 p.m., the ship entered Subic Bay and docked at the Alava Pier.
Capt. Tim Hinman, senior medical officer, said: “The ship is designed to be a hospital ship, ready to respond to any contingency when needed in conflict. We’ve also participated at one time in the Gulf War.” Hinman said the ship has a 1,000 bed capacity. In the mission to Samar, he said the ship’s medical personnel were able to treat at least 16,000 patients and conducted 270 surgeries in the ship’s two-week stay there. /INQUIRER