Hospital Ship COMFORT

Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20)

Saturday, 24 July 2004

Updated 02 August 2004 09:36

On Saturday, 24 July 2004, Skipper Kain got invited to tour the hospital ship USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20) at Canton Pier 11, Baltimore, MD Harbor by the Officer-in-Charge, CDR Benjamin G. M. Feril, MSC, USN.  COMFORT and her sister-ship MERCY are the only two active United States Naval Hospital Ships.  Also on the tour was Sea Scouter Noel Guzman from New York.  The three Sea Scouters met to plan the  Seabadge XIV Course for this October in Cape Cod where Noel will be the Skipper.  

Here are some photos:

DCP_1797.JPG (211393 bytes)  Before she became a hospital ship, COMFORT was a tanker named the ROSE CITY.  She was converted into a hospital ship later in her sea-going career.

DCP_1778.JPG (660723 bytes)DCP_1785.JPG (597774 bytes)DCP_1788.JPG (733202 bytes)  This is the helicopter flight deck where COMFORT receives the majority of her wounded patients.  

DCP_1788a.JPG (234223 bytes)  Noel Guzman and Skipper on COMFORT's flight deck.

DCP_1777.JPG (858496 bytes)  After the wounded arrive on the flight deck, they are placed on gurneys and rolled down these ramps to the triage room.

DCP_1789.JPG (772518 bytes)  This is the triage room where the wounded are prioritized for treatment.

DCP_1791.JPG (841347 bytes)  There are eleven fully-equipped surgeries onboard COMFORT.  When fully staffed, COMFORT is larger than most big-city hospitals.

DCP_1792.JPG (834324 bytes)  Our highly-trained staff is ready and eager to serve you.

DCP_1793.JPG (941634 bytes)  Of course, for real surgery, they don't use dummies.

DCP_1790.JPG (557535 bytes)  COMFORT even has a CAT Scanner.  She also has an optical shop, dental facilities, a burn unit, and just about anything else you can think of that would be needed to care for the men and women of our armed forces.  COMFORT has also handled civilian casualties, and even Iraqi prisoners of war.

DCP_1784.JPG (586291 bytes)  Lifeboats are available to evacuate the ship, but with injured patients, it is hoped this would never be necessary.  In conflict situations, COMFORT stays well off-shore from the trouble area and is protected by other fleet assets.

DCP_1782.JPG (361257 bytes)  As a non-combatant vessel, COMFORT is operated by the Military Sealift Command, and wears gray, blue, and yellow stripes on her stack.  Here we are entering officer's country on our way to the bridge.  At right are the certificates of her senior merchant marine officers.

DCP_1781.JPG (543003 bytes)  This is COMFORT's bridge.  For all shiphandling matters, she is manned by merchant mariners rather than naval officers, in keeping with her non-combatant role.  The senior merchant mariner is the Master of the vessel.  All medical matters are handled by United States Navy Medical Corps and Medical Service Corps personnel.

DCP_1780.JPG (557050 bytes)  The master's bridge chair.  COMFORT has a single screw driven by a steam turbine.  Her top speed is not fast, but she is steady.  We were interested to learn that foreign powers who may be at odds with the United States generally don't believe the United States government intends to take serious action until and unless hospital ships arrive on the scene.  With the hospital ships in place, a foreign power knows the United States is prepared to take casualties to defend freedom around the world.

DCP_1779.JPG (778337 bytes)  The fire suppression control panel on the bridge. 

DCP_1794.JPG (716343 bytes)  This is only half of the mess decks dining area for the medical staff.

DCP_1786.JPG (746266 bytes)  As guests of CDR Feril, the Officer-in-Charge, we were privileged to dine in the merchant mariner officer's dining facility.

DCP_1795.JPG (730688 bytes)  This is a knot board created as a gift to COMFORT from a retiring naval member of her crew.

DCP_1776.JPG (384395 bytes)  This is a thank-you letter to COMFORT from the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

DCP_1774.JPG (322752 bytes)  COMFORT has won two Navy Unit Commendations for her service to our armed forces.  COMFORT has deployed to Operation Desert Storm, the 9/11 Attack on New York City, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, to name just a few of her missions.

Home Up MD Maritime Fest Wills-Kain Eagle Canoe Race D.C. Visit Bo'sun's Project Chris's Eagle Eagle Dinner Nygard Regatta Eco-Challenge Program Launch Chesapeake Regatta Windrose Arrives Willit Work Party NER Regatta Admission Ceremony MS Bike Tour ScoutFleet ScoutFleet2 Wizard Cottage Lot SEA EAGLE COPE Corn Roast Kipona Canoe Race Liberty Ship Catoctin 2003 Mall Show Council Dinner Garrod Hydraulics Tuckahoe Landship Semper Paratus First Bridge of Honor NER BOH Wizard Cross-over HMS SULTANA Greg's Eagle Kuan Yin Rock Hall Herrington Harbour Solomons Night Race USS SEQUOIA Harry's Eagle Project Maritime Day SULTANA Long Cruise Christmas Party Tim's Bridge of Honor USNA SAS BOR Boat Preparation BOR2004 Koch Cup Hospital Ship COMFORT DE Beaches Troop 25 Sailing SASW-2004 Shiloh Fundraiser Adirondacks Halloween Parade Cook-Off VSE Snow Ball

 

This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA - http://ship25bsa.org