The hospital ship USNS Comfort, is on its way to San Juan, to assist with relief efforts there, after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. The ship is a Level III facility capable of providing resuscitation and stabilization care; initial wound and basic surgery; and postoperative treatment. The ship will join other military relief and recovery efforts there. According to the Pentagon, close to 44 percent of Puerto Rico’s population is without drinking water, and only eleven of 69 hospitals have fuel or power.
The Comfort is operated by civilian mariners and, fully crewed, carries about 1,215 Navy medical personnel. Up until 2013, the ship was based in Baltimore, but since that time its home base has been Norfolk, Virginia.