US hospital ship docks at Subic Bay
The United States’ biggest naval hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, docked at Subic Bay on Monday for a six-day visit to restock and allow its crew some time for rest and recreation.
The Philippine military said the USNS Mercy’s visit had nothing to do with the country’s dispute with China over Scarborough Shoal, a resource-rich coral-and-rock formation off the coast of Zambales.
Colonel Arnulfo Burgos Jr., the military’s spokesperson, said the USNS Mercy would be in Subic for “routine ship replenishment, maintenance of shipboard systems and crew liberty.”
He said the USNS Mercy would be docked up to July 7.
The USNS Mercy arrived from Calbayog City where it provided onboard medical, dental and veterinary services to residents of several towns in Samar province from June 18 to 30 under the Pacific Partnership mission for 2012.
Led by the US Pacific Fleet, the annual Pacific Partnership is a multinational humanitarian mission held in various host nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines.
The USNS Mercy is the second US vessel to dock at Subic in recent days. The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Louisville ported at Subic in late June.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.