The hospital ship USNS Mercy is preparing to head to the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia on a humanitarian mission, the Navy announced Tuesday.
Details about when and where the Mercy will be heading have yet to be released.
“Preparations are still being made and the Navy generally doesn’t discuss specifics of future operations,” said Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The Mercy’s deployment is expected to last five months and will involve cooperation with several nations and nongovernmental relief organizations, according to a Navy news release.
The Mercy has conducted humanitarian missions before, such as responding to the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.
In the tsunami’s aftermath, the Mercy’s personnel conducted 19,512 medical procedures and treated more than 9,500 patients in Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.
“Sending this uniquely capable ship with a multispecialized medical team is one way to demonstrate our commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, and to working together with our friends, partners and the regional community,” said Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.