The Navy’s hospital ship USNS Comfort will depart Naval Station Norfolk by the weekend and head to Hurricane Maria-ravaged Puerto Rico, U.S. Fleet Forces Command spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Brian Wierzbicki said Tuesday.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long announced from the White House on Tuesday that the ship would join other military relief and recovery efforts in the region. Comfort is expected to take four to five days to arrive, Wierzbicki said.
Capt. Beth Jaklic, left, and Cmdr. Eric Gessler perform an open appendectomy on Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Mikhail Grigoryev aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20)U.S. Navy photo
“We will make the best possible speed,” he said.
Long’s announcement came among criticism that the U.S. government’s aid response to the island territory of 3.4 million has been inadequate and two days after Hillary Clinton called on the Trump Administration on Twitter to “send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now.”
“These are American citizens,” Clinton tweeted.
President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens. https://t.co/J2FVg4II0n
About 44 percent of Puerto Rico’s population is without drinking water, the Pentagon said Tuesday, and 11 of 69 hospitals have fuel or power.
The Comfort is operated by civilian mariners and, fully crewed, carries about 1,215 Navy medical personnel.
The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is moored pierside in Puntarenas, Costa Rica for Continuing Promise 2011U.S. Navy photo
Military units from across the U.S. have been responding to the Caribbean in the aftermath of Maria, including members of the Virginia National Guard. Ships include the Norfolk-based amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and dock landing ship USS Oak Hill, based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, along with the USS Wasp.
At least one Air Force base is on the lookout for a sinister new threat: angry men who can't get laid.
Personnel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland were recently treated to a threat brief regarding an "increase in nationwide activity" by self-described "incels," members of an online subculture of "involuntary celibacy" who adopt an ideology of misogyny, mistrust of women, and violence in response to their failed attempts at romantic relationships.
The brief was first made public via a screenshot posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on Tuesday. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot to Task & Purpose.
"The screenshot was taken from a Joint Base Andrews Intel brief created following basic threat analysis on an increase in nationwide activity by the group," 11th Wing spokesman Aletha Frost told Task & Purpose in an email.
From Long Beach to Huntington Beach, residents were greeted Saturday, June 15, at precisely 8 a.m. with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then 12 hours later, the "Retreat" bugle call bellowed throughout Seal Beach and beyond.
At first, people wondered if the booming sound paid tribute to Flag Day, June 14. Seal Beach neighbors bordering Los Alamitos assumed the music was coming from the nearby Joint Forces Training Base.
But then it happened again Sunday. And Monday. Folks took to the Nextdoor social media app seeking an answer to the mystery.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.
Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.