USNS Mercy departs San Diego on four-month deployment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USNS Mercy departs San Diego on four-month deployment

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - After repairing a mechanical problem, the hospital ship USNS Mercy departed San Diego Thursday for a four-month humanitarian mission.

The vessel was expected to leave Tuesday for the Pacific Partnership mission before the trouble required a delay. A valve in the forward propulsion system needed to be replaced, according to the Navy Times.

The Mercy left about 7 a.m., Navy Lt. Cmdr. Donnell Evans said.

The ship is scheduled to make stops in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam over the next four months. Crew members will provide medical, dental and veterinary care in the host nations, and help with civil engineering projects.

Pacific Partnership also includes personnel from the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps; U.S. State and Justice departments, Agency for International Development and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Japan will contribute a landing ship, helicopters, a medical team and representatives from the country's volunteer organizations. Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand also will deploy personnel in support of the mission.

Other organizations scheduled to take part include the UC San Diego Pre-Dental Society, a student-run free dental clinic; Project Hope, which launched the first civilian hospital ship; LDS Charities; and the University of Hawaii.

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