The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in its homeport Naval Base San Diego after its inaugural participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, Aug. 9.
During the 37-day exercise conducted in and around the Hawaiian Islands and off the coast of California, Mercy’s medical personnel participated with partner nations in medical symposiums, subject matter expert exchanges, drills, demonstrated patient transfer capabilities, exchanged ship riders with China and participated in a series of RIMPAC sporting events.
Throughout the many symposiums and subject matter expert panels, Mercy’s medical personnel gave various presentations on range of topics.
Mercy Sailors participated in the first ever personnel exchange between the U.S. Navy and the People’s Republic of China, People’s Liberation Army (Navy) [PLA(N)] when medical personnel from Mercy and the PLA(N) hospital ship Ark Peace spent several days at sea aboard one another’s ships.
While underway Mercy received two medical evacuations and conducted numerous mass casualty, fire and abandon ship drills. The mass casualty drills were fast-paced and included unexpected scenarios and patients, some of whom were wearing special cut suits that allowed surgeons to simulate different surgical procedures.
Mercy is scheduled to return to a reduced operating status crew of approximately 60 Sailors, but will remain on a 5-day activation status ready to respond to a crisis in the region.