Initially built as a San Clemente class tanker, the USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20) was converted into a hospital ship and commissioned as a U.S. Navy vessel in 1987. The COMFORT's primary mission is to provide mobile, flexible, and rapidly responsive medical support for wartime operations, disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.
At full capacity, the 894 feet full-service hospital ship has a staff of approximately 1,200 active duty Navy medical and hospital support personnel and 60 Navy civil service mariners who operate the ship. The impressive ship contains 12 fully equipped operating rooms, a 1,000-bed hospital facility, radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a CAT scan unit, a physical therapy center, an invasive angiography suite and oxygen-producing capabilities. Patients arrive aboard primarily by helicopter and sometimes by small boat.
1990/1 Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
COMFORT deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations to treat wounded U.S. military personnel. The ship's medical personnel saw more than 8,000 outpatients, admitted 700 inpatients and performed 337 complex surgical procedures.
1994 Operations Uphold Democracy and Sea Signal
The USNS COMFORT deployed to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Kingston, Jamaica during 1994 to provide both combat surgical support for U.S. contingency operations, and health aid to approximately 35,000 Cuban and Haitian migrants.
2001 Operation Noble Eagle
COMFORT activated the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. This mission, which started out with the hope of providing medical aid to possible survivors, ended up being a mission of humanitarian relief for thousands of 'ground zero' workers such as NYC fire fighters, rescue personnel and police. Designed to care for war-wounded service members, the hospital ship provided immediate treatment for hundreds of relief workers for cuts, respiratory ailments, fractures and other minor injuries.
The Psychology and social service personnel provided over 500 mental health consultations helping relief workers to mentally prepare before they headed back to the disaster site. The crew provided food, showers and beds for more than 10,000 relief workers.
2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom
COMFORT deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. For 56 days in the Persian Gulf, Comfort served as a floating trauma center and provided expert medical care to nearly 700 wounded U.S. military personnel.
2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
The USNS COMFORT provided medical assistance to the Gulf Coast following the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. COMFORT's medical crew provided treatment to nearly 1,500 people.
2007 Operation Continuing Promise
The USNS COMFORT conducted a four-month humanitarian assistance mission to Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 98,000 people in 12 countries were treated during this unique mission, with the ship staffed by medical professionals from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Public Health Service as well as Canadian troops and civilian volunteers from a number of nonprofit organizations.
2009 Operation Continuing Promise
In April 2009, the hospital ship began a four-month deployment to Antigua, Colombia, Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Panama. The humanitarian mission offered training for U.S. military personnel while providing valuable services to communities in need, and medical treatment for more than 100,000 patients.
2010 Operation Unified Response Haiti
On Jan. 16, 2010, the USNS COMFORT deployed to aid the people of Haiti after a devastating 7.0 earthquake that struck the island nation Jan. 12, 2010. Comfort's medical personnel treated 871 patients and performed 843 surgeries.
2011 Operation Continuing Promise
Comfort served as the platform for humanitarian and civic assistance missions in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Peru. During the mission, shipboard medical personnel treated more than 67,000 people.
Military Family and
USNS COMFORT Ombudsman
WRNMMC's Military Family Ombudsman and USNS Comfort Ombudsman provide information, resources and support for all active duty service members and their families, including the spouses and children of active duty members, their parents and siblings. Ombudsmen will always keep all problems, issues, concerns and resolutions in the strictest confidence. You may contact a WRNMMC Ombudsman seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., by calling the Command Duty Office at (301) 295-4611. Call (717) 309-5675 to reach a USNS Comfort Medical Treatment Facility Ombudsman.