The hospital ship USNS Mercy conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) May 27 to assist a Republic of Korea sailor in need of medical attention.
At approximately 10:30 a.m., May 26, Mercy, which is operated by military sealift command personnel from San Diego, CA, received orders from Commander Task Force (CTF) 73 to render medical assistance to a Republic of Korea Navy submarine in the mid-pacific. Mercy was approximately 18 hours away and altered track to meet the ROK-N submarine.
Mercy is equipped to provide mobile acute medical and surgical services to deployed forces ashore and at sea, and is currently underway in support of Pacific Partnership 2016.
Embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 launched an MH-60S helicopter from Mercy early 27 May, recovered the sailor with a team of expert rescue crewmen including Aircrewman Helicopter Second Class Charles Weaver of Knoxville, Tennessee, Aircrewman Helicopter Second Class Vincent Meza of Fallbrook, California and Aircrewman Helicopter Second Class Benjamin McCracken of Sarasota, Florida. The HSC 21 team safely hoisted the sailor from the deck of the surfaced submarine and returned him to the hospital ship where he is currently being treated by medical personnel.
“It was fortuitous [that Mercy was in the vicinity] because we have highly qualified surgeons and medical teams aboard the ship,” said Lt. Cmdr. Pete Bradford, department head for the Main Operating Room, Medical Treatment Facility USNS Mercy.
Mercy will visit Timor Leste, The Republic of the Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia and Indonesia during Pacific Partnership 2016, conducting multinational disaster response preparedness drills, and tailored medical and engineering civic action programs, to strengthen interoperability and partner nations’ ability to collectively respond in a natural disaster or crisis.