Navy hospital ship preparing to head to Puerto Rico 

The USNS Comfort, a floating hospital, will be ready to assist whatever they encounter on the hurricane-ravaged island

Navy hospital ship preparing to head to Puerto Rico 

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is anchored near Port-au-Prince supporting Continuing Promise 2009, a humanitarian and civic assistance mission to Latin America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Landon Stephenson/Released)

By Kasey Jones
Associated Press

A U.S. Navy hospital ship is preparing to deploy to Puerto Rico to bring medical care to the hurricane-ravaged island.

Bill Mesta is a spokesman for the USNS Comfort, which is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. He tells The Associated Press that because the Comfort is coming out of a reduced operating status, the Navy is bringing medical treatment facilities on board.

Mesta says 500 medical personnel and support staff will join the ship, which will bring medical supplies, including blood, to the U.S. territory.

Mesta says once the Comfort arrives at Puerto Rico, the crew will be ready to support whatever they encounter. The crew is eager to assist those in need, Mesta says.

The ship is planning to leave Norfolk on Friday for the 5-day trip to Puerto Rico.

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