USNS Comfort- The Hospital Ship of the U.S Military

Along with the USNS Mercy, the USNS Comfort is the largest hospital ship of the U.S military. What is a hospital ship? A hospital ship refers to a hospital or medical treatment facility on the seas. As they are built to serve in and near war zones, most hospital ships are operated by the military. This includes the USNS Comfort which is operated by the U.S military. Since the only purpose of hospital ships is to tend to the injured and sick, attacking them is considered a crime. Now that we’re done discussing what hospital ships refer to, it’s time to turn our attention to the subject at hand i.e. the USNS Comfort.

USNS Comfort Hospital Ship
USNS Comfort on route to Haiti

Understanding USNS Comfort

To date, the USNS Comfort of the U.S military has treated over a hundred thousand patients. When it comes to size, the USNS Comfort is a beast. The height of the ship is equivalent to a ten-story building and its length sizes up to three football fields. At all times, the USNS Comfort has seven hundred medical personnel on board. Furthermore, it encompasses twelve operating rooms and five thousand units of blood. The USNS Comfort is a medical and military marvel since it has over thousand beds, medical labs, radiological services, twelve fully equipped operating rooms, optometry labs, burn care and physical therapy, dental services, intensive care units, pharmacies, two oxygen factories and CAT scan.

How the USNS Comfort serves humanity

The USNS Comfort brings relief to thousands of people affected by natural disasters by joining hands with volunteers belonging to non-governmental medical organizations. History is full of events where the USNS Comfort brought relief to the people of the world. Most notably, the USNS Comfort played significant roles in treating and bringing relief to people affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Southeast Asia tsunami and the Haiti Earthquake.

The good thing about USNS Comfort is that it does not carry any offensive weapons. After all, the purpose of the USNS Comfort is to bring relief to people and not attack them. Also, there isn’t any need for the USNS to carry any weapons since the Geneva Conventions explicitly state that attacking hospital ship is a war crime punishable by law. Although the USNS is operated by the U.S military, the medical personnel on board are all civilians who often take help from volunteers belonging to various NGOs.

Apart from performing medical treatments on the ship, the crew of the USNS Comfort set up temporary medical sites on shore. After setting up the medical sites on shore, the crew provides medical supplies to people affected by war or natural disasters. The staff of the USNS Comfort work tirelessly each day and thus needs to be fed well. This is the reason this hospital ship of the U.S military is equipped with a state of the art kitchen and has master chefs who prepare delicious cuisines for the seven hundred medical personnel on board. For all the aforementioned reasons, the USNS Comfort is a prized asset of the U.S military.

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