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Press Advisory


Release No: 024-05
April 14, 2005

USNS Mercy Support Following Indonesian Natural Disasters

            Navy Capt. Mark Llewellyn, the commander of the medical treatment facility aboard the USNS Mercy and Lt. Cmdr. Vernon Sechriest, Navy orthopedic surgeon aboard the Navy hospital ship, will be available to discuss efforts to provide medical relief to citizens of Nias, Indonesia in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. 


            Llewellyn will discuss the USNS Mercy capabilities and the coordination between a large number of organizations focused on providing care to the people in this region. 


            The audio-only brief will be conducted live via telephone Friday, April 15, in the DoD Briefing Room, Pentagon 2E579 at 10 a.m. EDT.


            Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the North Parking Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call (703) 697-5131 for escort into the building.


            Sechriest will discuss his personal experiences on the ground with the people who have received assistance.


            The USNS Mercy has provided medical care to the people of Indonesia since Feb. 5 when they ship relieved the aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, off the coast of Banda Aceh in Northern Sumatra. 


            In addition to providing post-tsunami disaster relief in Banda Aceh, the USNS Mercy personnel provided humanitarian medical assistant in Alor, Indonesia, and Dili, East Timor, prior to returning to Northern Sumatra. 


            The USNS Mercy currently has 248 medical professionals aboard including U. S. Navy, Project Hope and U. S. health service care providers.  More than 10,000 patients have received medical services ranging from primary medical care and preventive medicine to complex surgical procedures.

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