The hospital ship USNS Mercy left Naval Station San Diego today to kick-off a four-and-a-half humanitarian mission to several Asian countries, according to the Department of Defense.
The crew of the USNS Mercy will help provide medical, dental, and veterinary assistance to people in need, and help with engineering projects in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
USNS Mercy's civil master servant Capt. Jonathan Olmsted is in charge of the ship. He said he's excited for the upcoming mission:
“Having participated in Pacific Partnership 2009, I know firsthand what an impact we have on the local populations we visit. In building these relationships, we’ll have a better understanding of how multiple militaries and civilian organizations can work together to overcome the adversity of a natural disaster.”
The mission is part of Pacific Partnership 2012, which is in its seventh year. Pacific Partnership put together this video with more information on the mission: