Bill Mesta is a spokesman for the USNS Comfort, which is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. He tells The Associated Press that because the Comfort is coming out of a reduced operating status, the Navy is bringing medical treatment facilities on board.
Mesta says 500 medical personnel and support staff will join the ship, which will bring medical supplies, including blood, to the U.S. territory.
Mesta says once the Comfort arrives at Puerto Rico, the crew will be ready to support whatever they encounter. The crew is eager to assist those in need, Mesta says.
The ship is planning to leave Norfolk on Friday for the 5-day trip to Puerto Rico.