Hospital Ship USNS Mercy Dedicated At NASSCO In San Diego
National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) recently held a naming ceremony and open house for the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), first of two 90,000-dwt tankers NASSCO is converting into 1,000- bed Naval Hospital Ships. Both events were open to the public. As guest of honor, Helen K. Copley named the ship in traditional champagne fashion. Mrs. Copley is chairman and chief executive officer of The Copley Press, Inc., and the publisher of The San Diego Union and The Tribune. Assisting her as matron of honor was Maureen O'Connor, Mayor of San Diego. Other featured participants included The Honorable Pete Wilson, U.S. Senate, who was guest speaker; Vice Adm. Lewis Seaton, Director and Surgeon General, Office of Naval Medicine, Department of the Navy; Rear Adm. Walter Piotti Jr., Commander, Military Sealift Command, Department of the Navy; Joseph Shrader, Deputy Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command; William J. Deasy, president and chief executive officer, Morrison Knudsen Corporation; and Richard H. Vortmann, president and chief executive officer, NASSCO. Alfred W. Lutter Jr., senior vice president, marketing and business affairs, NASSCO, assisted as master of ceremonies.
The 1,000-bed T-AH 19 Class ship is a floating surgical hospital with a mobile, flexible, rapidly responsive capability to provide acute medical care in support of amphibious task forces, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force elements, forward deployed Navy elements of the fleet and fleet activities, and the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDF).
The extensive medical services of the Hospital Ship include: casualty reception, 12-room operating complex, recovery room, intensive care unit, and intermediate care, light care, and limited care wards. Delivery of the USNS Mercy is scheduled for this month.
For further information and free literature on NASSCO's facilities and capabilities,