USNS Mercy Returns From Southeast Asia

Mercy Returns From Humanitarian Aid Deployment

The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy returned to San Diego Tuesday from a humanitarian aid deployment to Southeast Asia, in which nearly 110,000 patients were treated.

The Mercy deployed May 1 as part of "Pacific Partnership," with visits to Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Palau. Other ships taking part in the partnership made stops in Palau and Papua New Guinea.

"We saw things you don't see in the U.S.," Capt. Jeffrey Paulson told a local TV station.

Doctors visited a leprosy hospital in Vietnam and saw patients with old bone fractures, said Paulson, who is in charge of the ship's medical programs.

The Mercy is one of two U.S. Navy hospital ships. It has multiple operating rooms, sophisticated X-ray capabilities and more than 500 volunteer and military staff.

Crew members treated 109,754 patients, performed 859 surgeries, gave out nearly 61,000 pairs of eye glasses, and also took care of 2,800 animals during the ship's cruise.