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San Diego-Based Hospital Ship USNS Mercy Won’t Deploy To Philippines

USNS Mercy in San Diego Bay
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Above: USNS Mercy in San Diego Bay

The San Diego-Based hospital ship USNS Mercy will not be deploying to the Philippines.

The Navy activated the Mercy on Nov. 13 for possible deployment to support disaster relief efforts. However, the situation has improved to such a degree that on Monday, Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. directed the Mercy be returned to reduced operating status.

Pacific Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Steve Curry said the Mercy had been ready if the situation in the Philippines required long-term relief efforts:

"Our friends needed our help, so we leaned forward to get Mercy ready to deploy early in the crisis, before the medical situation was completely known, due the time required to prepare the ship for sea, and transit to the Philippines.

"The medical situation in the Philippines has dramatically improved over the last two weeks, with numerous U.S. and international care providers currently operating in impacted areas, so the ship will not deploy."

San Diego-based ships like the USS Cowpens and USS Freedom are currently in the Philippines helping with Operation Damayan in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

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