The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy arrived today off the coast of Nias to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of the March 28 earthquake. Mercy joined USNS Niagara Falls, which arrived April 4. This response reflects the continued U.S. commitment to humanitarian assistance, regional cooperation and security in the region.
USNS Mercy medical personnel will renew cooperative efforts with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Indonesian medical teams to support emergency medical efforts. 165 U.S. Navy medical and support personnel from the Naval Medical Center San Diego, 10 medical personnel from the U. S. Public Health Service and 40 NGO personnel are supporting the ship's crew. Mercy will closely coordinate relief efforts with the Government of Indonesia, NGOs, and medical teams from other countries.
While in Nias, Mercy's medical staff will provide aid both aboard and ashore with a wide range of medical specialties, including trauma, surgical support, orthopedics, OB-GYN, pediatrics, primary care, dental treatment, preventive medicine, public health, laboratory and pharmaceutical. Assessments are being made to determine specific needs of the injured in Nias, and how best to employ Mercy's capabilities in support of relief efforts.
"We have returned to Sumatra to help our Indonesian friends in any way we can," said Captain Mark Llewellyn, commanding officer of Mercy's Medical Treatment Facility. "From our time in Banda Aceh during the tsunami relief effort, we feel connected to the wonderful people of Indonesia."
Mercy departed its San Diego homeport Jan. 5, as part of Operation Unified Assistance relief efforts following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the region on December 26. From February 6 to April, more than 500 U.S. Navy and NGO medical staff, volunteers from Project HOPE, uniformed Public Health Service members and Navy support personnel treated more than 17,500 patients in operation in Banda Aceh, Alor and Dili, East Timor.
For more information, visit the U.S. Seventh Fleet web site at www.c7f.navy.mil.