The United States Naval Ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), a Mercy-class ship, arrived in the New York City Harbor to the welcome of vessels and aviation units from multiple other armed branches, the NYPD, State Police, and fireboats from the FDNY, Jersey City and North Hudson Regional. The ship began its journey from Virginia and docked at Pier 90, which is directly across from Weehawken, at around 1100. The mission of the ship is to help alleviate some of the stress on local hospitals as it takes in non-COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.
USNS Comfort was placed into service in 1987 and weighs 69,360 tons (fully laden), is 894 feet long, propelled by a steam turbine developing 24,500 shaft horsepower, and has a top speed of 20 mph. Comfort has 1,000 patient beds, 63 civilian (operational crew from the Military Sealift Command) and 956 Naval hospital staff, and 258 naval support staff.
She has deployed off Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War (1990-91), served as a migrant processing center off Haiti in 1994 (Operation Sea Signal), again to Haiti in 1994 (Operation Uphold Democracy), arrived in New York City on September 14, 2001, in answer to the terrorist attack (Operation Noble Eagle), served again in the Persian Gulf for the Iraq War (2002-03), served in the Gulf after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and has responded on several humanitarian missions in Central and Latin America and Puerto Rico (Hurricane Maria).
– Fire News photos by Mark Rosetti