Hospital ship due from gulf Monday

April 12, 1991

The U.S. Navy hospital ship the USNS Comfort, deployed in the Persian Gulf for nine months, is scheduled to return to Baltimore on Monday.

Families and friends will be reunited with crew members during a celebration at the Dundalk Marine Terminal at 1 p.m.

The Comfort was activated for duty in the Middle East on Aug. 8, soon after President Bush deployed American troops to Saudi Arabia in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

The crew now numbers 460 members. At the height of the conflict, there were 1,100 crew members, including medical personnel from the National Naval Medical Center and other East Coast medical facilities. Actually operating the ship are nearly 70 Civil Service mariners from the Military Sealift Command.

The Comfort is one of the largest military medical facilities in the world, featuring a 1,000-bed hospital, 12 operating rooms and a full range of medical and surgical capabilities.

As part of the welcome-home festivities, public tours of the ship will be held Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. No reservations are required. The public should use the POV Gate off Broening Highway to enter the terminal.

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