Comfort Admits Patients From New Jersey

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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Bigley,
NEW YORK (NNS) — The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) began admitting patients from hospitals in New Jersey April 17 in an effort to expand its support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.

New Jersey state hospitals coordinated with Comfort doctors to ensure patients could be effectively transferred across state lines and aboard the ship to receive care.

“Every one of those that we pull from the community or from the city hospitals is one more open bed for New Jersey hospitals to refill,” said Capt. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the medical treatment facility aboard Comfort. “I’m very proud of the crew, our medical providers, nurses, support staff that are providing outstanding care to the people of New York City and New Jersey. We look at it as one patient at a time.”

Moored in New York, the ship serves as a referral hospital for critical and non-critical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. Comfort is working with Javits New York Medical Station, federal and state officials as an integrated system to relieve the medical systems for both New York City, as well as nearby New Jersey, in support of U.S. Northern Command’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comfort is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has more than 1,200 personnel embarked for the New York mission including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over civil service mariners.

3rd Marine Logistics Group Supports USS Theodore Roosevelt

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By 1st Lt. Tori Sharpe, 3rd Marine Logistics Group Public Affairs

NAVAL BASE GUAM (NNS) — A team of medical professionals assigned to 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force deployed to Guam in order to augment the COVID-19 response efforts by USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Approximately 230 Sailors and Marines arrived in Guam throughout the first weeks of April and are supporting Theodore Roosevelt’s onboard medical staff in assessing, managing and treating the symptoms of COVID-19 cases while the ship is in port.

“As a Maritime Force, we need to work together as a Navy and Marine Corps team to stop the spread of COVID-19 in order to remain a ready force in the region,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Keith D. Reventlow, 3rd Marine Logistics Group Commanding General. “Soon after receiving the request for support, we rapidly deployed a team of highly skilled medical professionals to augment Theodore Roosevelt’s existing capabilities with manpower and resources to effectively assist with COVID-19 cases. Our combined efforts to combat the virus and protect the health of our force will allow us to continue our mission in Indo-Pacific theater.”

The team adds to the professional medical care already available aboard Theodore Roosevelt, including more than 70 embarked officers and corpsmen and a team from the Biological Defense Research Directorate, Fort Detrick, Maryland, which has been on board Theodore Roosevelt conducting early-warning surveillance testing for Sailors who present with influenza-like symptoms.

The 3rd Medical Battalion, based in Okinawa, Japan, maintains a deployable force ready to intervene to support natural disasters, humanitarian assistance and various other missions. After receiving official notice of the mission to support Theodore Roosevelt, the joint Navy and Marine Corps team was ready to deploy within 48 hours.

“The rapid response by the 3rd MLG was incredible,” said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. “Their footprint ashore will ensure our Sailors off ship are well cared for.”
Although Theodore Roosevelt recently conducted joint exercises with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, this deployment marks the first time the ship and the 3rd Marine Logistics Group have worked together in recent years.

The medical team, which is based at Naval Base Guam, will comply with all quarantine requirements set forth by Governor Leon Guerrero and will only be travelling to conduct critical official business on military installations.

Theodore Roosevelt is currently on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific and pulled in to Guam on March 27.