The United States Navy’s 894-foot long hospital ship Comfort arrived in Puerto Rico yesterday evening prepared to help people on the island battered by hurricanes Irma and Maria, according to the U.S. Naval Institute. Only 10 of Puerto Rico’s 69 hospitals were reconnected to the island’s electrical grid when Comfort arrived, according to Ricardo Rossello, the island’s governor.

Additionally, almost every kidney dialysis center in Puerto Rico is currently dependent on diesel generators. Governor Rosello explained during a press conference yesterday that Hurricane Maria totally destroyed Puerto Rico’s power grid.

A mere five percent of the island’s power company customers had power the morning of Comfort’s arrival.

USNS Comfort offers full-service staff and hospital for relief efforts

There are approximately 800 medical personnel onboard Comfort. As the Puerto Rico rebuilds, Comfort staff will provide care. Surgeons, nurse practitioners, pediatricians, surgical technicians and additional support personnel are prepared to offer medical assistance as part of the relief efforts. Medical support staff onboard are from 22 commands. There are also more than 70 civil service mariners involved in the humanitarian relief efforts, according to the U.S. Navy.

USNS Comfort reportedly has 1,000 beds for patients. There is an 80-bed intensive care ward.

According to the Navy, the hospital ship has one of the largest trauma facilities in the U.S. Comfort has four X-ray machines and a CAT scan unit, WTKR reported. The ship is also equipped with a physical therapy center, a pharmacy, a dental suite, an optometry lens lab, two oxygen-producing plants, and an angiography suite.

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Comfort’s chief mission, the Navy stated, is providing an afloat, mobile acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military. Its secondary mission is how it factors into providing aid and service in Puerto Rico, where the goal is full hospital services to support disaster relief.

Hospital ship joins FEMA and Marines providing humanitarian relief

The Mercy-class hospital ship Comfort is assisting in humanitarian relief along with FEMA, and Marines from the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are doing the same. Marines have already delivered over 14,500 pounds of relief supplies in addition to clearing roadways of debris and they transported hospital assessment teams by air and by land to conduct inspections of Puerto Rico’s hospitals.

Crucial roadways being cleared, more helicopters set to arrive

So far, 400 miles of the island’s roadways have been cleared, according to Rossello. There are still 19 routes, he said, that are crucial that need to be cleared of debris – for providing access to health care and distributing food, water, and supplies.

Later this week, USS Wasp will arrive in Puerto Rico and join the USS Kearsarge by bringing 15 additional helicopters that will assist with the disaster relief efforts, the U.S. Naval Institute reported.

United States’ hospital ships symbolize hope

Comfort and her sister ship, USNS Mercy, are literally floating hospitals. Comfort and Mercy each have the height equivalent to a 10-story building and span the length of three football fields, FOX 13 reported. “It’s amazing what can be accomplished medically” on Comfort and Mercy, the U.S. Navy stated. The two are symbols of hope.