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USNS Comfort Departs for Puerto Rico

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NORFOLK (NNS) — The Military Sealift Command hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), departed Naval Station Norfolk Friday and is now underway and making final preparations to support relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

USNS Comfort can arrive in Puerto Rico as early as Oct. 3, but the final date and arrival location is to be determined.

“The medical capability the ship can deliver can be done underway, it can be done in port, or it can be done at anchor. Between the helicopter capability we have and the boats we have, all of those things together give us the ability to be flexible in our mission,” said Capt. Kevin Robinson, commander, forward command element aboard USNS Comfort.

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USNS Comfort departed Naval Station Norfolk with over 800 Navy medical personnel and support staff with the medical treatment facility, and over 70 civil service mariners. The medical personnel will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general practice, family medicine, nephrology and pediatrics. The civil service mariners operate and navigate the ship, load and off-load mission cargo, assist with repairs to mission equipment and provide essential services to keep the MTF up and running.

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When not deployed, USNS Comfort is kept in a reduced operating status but can transition to full operating status in five days.

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departs Naval Station Norfolk Friday to support humanitarian relief operations. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Maria to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ernest R. Scott)

“48 hours ago there were less than 100 people onboard this ship that included civilian mariners and medical treatment facility personnel. Over the past 36 hours, we have flown medical professionals and their support personnel from all over the country and the number of people onboard right now is over 800,” said Robinson.

Comfort’s MTF is an embarked crew of medical personnel from the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery responsible for operating and maintaining one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the MTF crew, many of whom just found out last night that they were deploying today,” said Capt. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer, USNS Comfort’s MTF.

USNS Comfort’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare. Comfort’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

USNS Comfort is the second of two Mercy-class hospital ships. A converted San Clemente-class supertanker, Comfort delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command Dec. 1, 1987.

Military Sealift Command operates the ships which sustain our warfighting forces and deliver specialized maritime services in support of national security objectives in peace and war.

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Big League National Security

John Bolton Completes Turncoat Transformation, Slams Trump White House For Delaying Tell-All Book

Bolton’s book is subject to a national security review.

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Former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton bemoaned a national security review of his upcoming tell-all book when speaking at Duke University on Monday.

Bolton isn’t pleased that his book, “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir,” is being delayed while White House national security personnel thoroughly review it to ensure any and all classified information remains private. According to Bolton, the book’s been in review since December 30th, hardly a lengthy period of time to ensure that classified U.S intelligence isn’t released to the broader public.

According to Bolton, the process is censorship.

I say things in the manuscript about what [Trump] said to me; I hope they become public someday. He tweets, but I can’t talk about it — how fair is that?”

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Bolton was fired as National Security Adviser for consistently trying to undermine the President’s America First foreign policy vision, instead preferring a neoconservative approach of regime change, globalism, and wide-ranging foreign intervention.

He’s flirted strongly with anti-Trump resistance liberals since his ouster, falling out of the President’s good graces and drawing his ire in presidential tweets.

This isn’t the first time that Bolton has claimed the White House are censoring him. He incorrectly believed the White House was blocking his access to his official Twitter account, when by all indications it simply appears he was unaware how to bypass the two-factor authentication needed to access Twitter from a new IP address after his firing.

It’s totally reasonable for Bolton’s profiteering book to be delayed for any and all considerations over classified information. The longtime neoconservative pundit will simply have to wait to cash in.

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