Defense Department Places Medical Personnel on Alert at Field Hospitals

In order to aid public health agencies during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S Department of Defense has placed hundreds of medical personnel on alert and ordered the deployment of two hospital ships.

According to an article published by, “In addition to sending the USNS Mercy and Comfort to pandemic hotspots, active-duty troops could help staff up to 1,000 beds’ worth of field hospitals around the country, the Joint Staff surgeon told reporters Wednesday, in response to requests from civilian public health agencies.”

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman stated that the Naval Station Norfolk and Virginia-based Comfort will be pulled out of its current maintenance period to travel to New York while the San Diego-based Mercy’s destination is still to be determined.