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The U.S. Naval hospital ship USNS Mercy, which served in the Pacific region in 2005 supporting the tsunami relief mission, was scheduled to depart San Diego on Monday for a five-month goodwill tour of Asia, Pacific Command reported.

The ship is expected in the Philippines in mid-May.

During stops in the region, the ship, in conjunction with host nations and nongovernmental organizations, will hold medical and dental missions on the ship and ashore.

The mission is designed to provide relief in the participating countries as well as real-world training for the ship.

A Seabee detachment from Port Hueneme, Calif., will conduct repair and minor construction projects in the visited countries.

The Navy Showband from Norfolk, Va., will join the ship during the deployment to provide outreach and entertainment to local populations during assistance work.


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