Defense Department personnel continued to arrive in Puerto Rico to help the island recover from Hurricane Maria, with roughly 10,000 DoD members working with commonwealth officials across the island. The hospital ship USNS “Comfort” arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 3, 2017, to help support Hurricane Maria aid and relief operations.
The ship is sailed by civilian mariners of the Military Sealift Command and staffed by Navy medics from around the United States. The majority of those on the ship come from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, but there are sailors from at least 12 different bases aboard as well.
The ship joins the amphibious assault ships USS “Kearsarge” and USS “Wasp” and the dock landing ship USS “Oak Hill” in Puerto Rican waters. The sailors and Marines aboard those ships were among the first to lend assistance to the stricken island.
Hurricane Maria killed 34 people on the island and estimated the damage at up to $90 billion.