You are on page 1of 14

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BLOGGERS ROUNDTABLE WITH COMMANDER MARK MARINO

,
U.S. NAVY, DIRECTOR OF NURSING, USNS COMFORT SUBJECT: RELIEF EFFORTS IN
HAITI AND PATIENT-CARE CAPABILITIES ABOARD USNS COMFORT VIA
TELECONFERENCE TIME: 12:05 P.M. EST DATE: TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2010

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright (c) 2010 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500 1000 Vermont
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. Federal News Service is a private
firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this
transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written
authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to
any part of the original work prepared by a United States government
officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For
information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service, please visit
http://www.fednews.com or call(202)347-1400
-----------------------------------------------------------------

(Note: Please refer to www.dod.mil for more information.)

LIEUTENANT JENNIFER CRAGG (U.S. Navy, Office of the Secretary of
Defense for Public Affairs): I'd like to welcome you all to the
Department of Defense's Bloggers Roundtable for Tuesday, January 19th,
2010. My name is Lieutenant Jennifer Cragg with the Office of the
Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. And I'll be moderating the call
today.

A note to the bloggers and online journalists on the call.
Please clearly state your name and organization you're with, prior to
asking your question or questions.

Today, we have a special guest. His name is U.S. Navy Commander
Mark Marino. He's the director of Nursing aboard USNS Comfort. And
he's going to provide an update of patient-care capabilities aboard the
Comfort.

So without further ado, I'm going to turn it over to you, sir.
If you'd like to, start with an opening statement. We'll go to
questions. The floor is yours.

CMDR. MARINO: Okay, sure. I'm sorry, can you repeat what you
were requesting? I didn't hear it.

LT. CRAGG: Yes, sir. If you'd like to, start with an opening
statement. The floor is yours -- whatever you'd like to discuss. And
we'll turn it over to the bloggers for questions.

CMDR. MARINO: Okay, happy to.

So hello, everybody. I'm Commander Mark Marino, M-A-R-I-N-O.
I'm the director of Nursing onboard the hospital ship. As far as
capabilities, again our bed capacity published is about 1,000 beds. And
we're hoping we're going to staff up to be able to accommodate that.
I've got the ability to care for about roughly four (hundred) to
600 low-acuity patients, the walking wounded, patients who don't need too
much care. And then I've got an additional roughly 400 beds that would
be higher acuity med-surg patients that might need antibiotics through an
IV or special dressing changes or continuous IV fluids or other
specialized nursing care.

Then currently I have 60 intensive-care beds. And I'm about to
expand that to up to 80. And that -- those intensive-care beds include
the ability to care for low-acuity and higher-acuity critical care
patients.

In addition, we will have, I believe the number is going to be,
approximately eight to 11. And I'm not exactly sure of that number, but
eight to 11 operating-room beds at the moment. So we'll have eight to 11
operating rooms going. And my recovery room is capable of handling up to
20 patients at a time coming out of the recovery room.

We also have a fully manned 50-bed emergency room, casualty
receiving. So all of the patients that come from either other ships in -
- other ships in the area or from Haiti itself will come to our casualty
receiving. They'll be assessed. They'll be triaged. Any emergency
lifesaving measures will be addressed there, and then they'll either be
taken to surgery or they'll be admitted to either a surgical ward or a
medical ward or my intensive care unit.

And I'm happy to take questions after that introduction.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, sir.

Jim was the first person on the line, so, Jim, please go ahead.

Q Good afternoon, Commander. Jim Dolbow with the U.S. Naval
Institute Blog. Can you tell us about the Comfort's partnership with
NGOs like Project Hope?

CMDR. MARINO: Oh, sure. I'm happy to.

You know, we actually have a pretty long and significant history
with partnering with a number of NGOs, not just Project Hope. On our
last mission, in various forms or fashions, I believe we had easily
probably 10 to 15 different partnerships going with a number of NGOs. And
that might have been just either donated goods or the actual physical
presence of personnel.

For this particular mission, we already have Project Hope
personnel on board, and they are assessing how they can fit into the
organizational structure and what specialty personnel, what specialty
medical personnel they're going to be able to bring. And I believe the
goal is to slowly incorporate them -- not slowly, actually pretty
quickly, in the next seven days to two weeks -- start incorporating the
volunteers into the organizational structure.
We've also had feedback from Operation Smile, and there is an
Operation Smile representative on board. You know, their mission has
been traditionally to do cleft palate care to young children, but they
have offered up surgeons and other staff to help care for our patients in
other areas.

We have had -- or we've had the Church of Latter-day Saints
reach out to us. They were partners with us on our last mission. They
have -- let's see -- orthopedic surgeons, emergency surgeons, general
surgeons, pediatric, all the specialties in nursing, as well as ancillary
services (and they have ?) respiratory technicians. And they are all
willing to jump in, and they've got people standing by.

So hopefully in the next week to two weeks we will start
rotating these people in. So again, we do have partners with us already,
and they are assessing how they can fit into the organization, but in
such short notice, we wanted to get our military folks up and running and
on the ship, and get them in country as quickly as we could. And then we
are now making arrangements to start that partnership with the various
NGOs that'll be joining us.

Q Thank you so much.

CMDR. MARINO: You're quite welcome.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, Jim.

Andrew, you're next. Please go ahead.

Q Hey. Commander, Andrew Lubin here, Leatherneck magazine.
Thanks for taking the time today, sir.

CMDR. MARINO: You're welcome. Andrew, I'm sorry, from -- what
organization are you from?

Q Leatherneck magazine, magazine of the Marine Corps.

CMDR. MARINO: Ah. Hoo-rah.

Q Hoo-rah, sir. Sir, can you walk us through something --

CMDR. MARINO: I actually cared for --

Q Pardon?

CMDR. MARINO: I said, I actually cared for one of the guys who
was featured on your cover once a number of years back, when they came
back from Iraq.

Q Really? Who was that, do you remember?

CMDR. MARINO: I'm sorry, I don't. (Chuckles.)

Q Okay. (Chuckles.)
CMDR. MARINO: I've been doing this for so long, I don't
remember.

Q Okay, fair enough. Sir, can you walk us through some real
basics? How are you going to get people from the countryside or from the
city onto your ship? Would the Marines be doing the triage for you on
land, or the Army, or are you going to have a team on there? How are you
going to decide who you're actually going to bring on board? And who
will be doing it? CMDR. MARINO: Yeah, we're working out some of those
logistics, actually, right now. The carrier, the -- I believe it's the
Carl Vinson's already in the area of operation. We also have the Bataan;
if it's not there, it is almost there.

Q Arrived yesterday.

CMDR. MARINO: They already have patients -- I'm sorry, they
arrived yesterday?

Q Yes, sir.

CMDR. MARINO: Yeah. So they're already doing a little bit of
triage, and the patients they have -- in fact, the -- Washington already
has patients they want to transfer to us. We received a list yesterday.
So they're going to be some of the first patients on board, because they
need more of our capabilities.

So we already have a list from the Vinson. I imagine the Bataan
is going to do the same thing. There is, I believe, a surgical hospital
-- I'm not sure if it's an Army field hospital or who's in there, but we
already have one of the DOD military hospitals in country with a backlog,
and they are all ready to send us patients as well.

We'll be working with -- my understanding is we'll be working
with the Vinson and the Bataan, and we have helos on board as well, and
we will be going to strategic pickup points in country to bring those
patients here. And then we will try to embed -- I believe right now
we're embedding at least a trauma surgeon and possibly another physician
to triage what patients would be suitable to come out to the Comfort.
And hopefully that will be some of our focal point, at least initially.

We are talking about putting a medical presence -- a little bit
larger medical presence on ground in a week or two.

But for now, we feel we need to relieve the backlog of
what's happening in country and get those to the ship, and then slowly
we'll start to set up in country our own triage points at some of the
places we've actually been in the past when we were doing our mission
this past summer.

Q Great. Thank you.

CMDR. MARINO: You're welcome.
LT. CRAGG: Thank you, Andrew.

Richard, please go ahead.

Q Good afternoon, Commander. I've got to tell you that
Andrew's just asked the question that I was prepared to ask. So I'm
going to pass and go on to the next reporter.

CMDR. MARINO: Okay. Great.

LT. CRAGG: Thanks, Richard. I'll come back around to you.

Olivia, please go ahead.

Q Yes. Hello. This is Olivia Hampton, with AFP. And I
just wanted to know --

CMDR. MARINO: I'm sorry. Where are you from, Olivia?

Q AFP News Agency.

CMDR. MARINO: Okay.

Q Agence France-Presse.

And I just wanted to see if you could explain a little bit why
it took so -- why it's taking so long for the Comfort to come over to
reach Haiti.

CMDR. MARINO: I'm sorry, why it took so long for the Comfort to
come over?

Q Yes. Why it took so long, yeah. It's going to be eight
days tomorrow. CMDR. MARINO: Oh, my gosh. I -- I -- I beg to differ
with you. (Chuckles.) I mean, in the -- in the grand scheme of things,
getting help to Haiti is a slog for any good organization. Let me tell
you what the reality is.

Our ship is at a skeleton crew of approximately 70 both military
and civilian people. We don't keep all of the fresh stores -- like food
and medicines that would expire -- we don't keep that stuff onboard. We
don't keep a ready crew of 6(00) or 700 medical professionals ready to
go.

Our doctrine is we have approximately five days to acquire crew,
acquire supplies and get under way. We did that in less than three, from
the day we were activated. We were activated the day after the
earthquake. So in less than three days, we had 700 medical personnel, we
had food and we had medical supplies that we don't routinely carrier --
routinely carry -- and we were leaving the pier by Saturday morning.

So taking so long -- that is completely incorrect. This ship is
-- it moved much faster than it traditionally is supposed to, and we got
under way and did it quite well.
The other restriction is, our published speed is about 15 to 17
knots. You know, short of -- short of somebody picking up the ship and
hand-carrying it to Haiti in two days, it takes us a good number of days
to get there.

We left Saturday and we're hoping to be there either tomorrow or
Thursday. And we haven't stopped and we are going straight.

So I beg to differ with you. It has not taken us long. We have
exceeded what our normal capabilities are to get there. So it's a matter
of logistics. Getting from Baltimore to Haiti is not a quick task on
this ship.

Q So basically, the reason why it was taking this amount of
time is mostly the time that was necessary to load the personnel, the
supplies, aboard the ship, and also just the distance. Is that correct?

CMDR. MARINO: Correct. Again, we left Saturday, and we haven't
stopped. So, you know, we're steaming.

Q Okay.

CMDR. MARINO: You know, we left Saturday morning. Saturday,
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. It's at least a five-day transit to
get there. We can't get there any faster than we're going. And again,
it normally, by doctrine, takes us up to five days to activate a crew,
activate supplies and get everybody on board. We got activated
Wednesday. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. We were out in less
than four full days.

Q Okay.

CMDR. MARINO: So we exceeded our expectations. Exceeded our
expectations.

Q Great. Thank you.

CMDR. MARINO: So, you know, the other option is we move the
United States closer to Haiti or we move Haiti closer to us and we could
have been there much quicker.

Q Right. Thank you.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, sir. Thank you, Olivia.

CMDR. MARINO: You're welcome.

Leo, please go ahead. Q Yeah. Hi, Commander. Leo Shane
from Stars and Stripes. You don't have an in-depth plan of how to move
the United States closer to Haiti, do you?

CMDR. MARINO: (Laughs.) Nope. No, we don't.
Q Thank you.

Since we are talking a week out here, I don't know what kind of
injuries you're discussing with your folks, telling them to prep for. I
mean, the immediate -- some of the immediate wounds that we would have
seen either have been treated or have gotten worse, so I don't know what,
exactly, you're prepping for in terms of the more serious injuries and
how you prepare for something, you know, a week down the line like that.

CMDR. MARINO: Sure. Sure. Thanks for the question.

The reality is -- I've read recently a professor out at Columbia
was predicting there would be pretty much three phases of illness with
this disaster. The first phase would be the immediate trauma associated
with the earthquake; and then the second phase would be the food and
dehydration associated with inadequate food and water supplies; and then
the third phase would be the infections associated with the injuries that
don't get treated and some of the injuries that become long-term
problems.

And also, the folks who might have diabetes or high blood
pressure or other chronic illnesses where they're now not getting their
medications in over a week to two weeks or three weeks or longer, these
problems start to balloon and then become potentially life- threatening.

I don't -- I'm not convinced that we're past the first phase of
the initial trauma. I read or heard that -- I think CNN reported that at
least two days ago they pulled 10 people out of the rubble alive -- and
that was just two days ago. So you know, we're still not sure what we're
going to see or what we're going to find and who's going to be surviving.
So there's still a realistic chance that we're going to get some trauma.

Additionally, we are looking at folks who will possibly get
diarrheal infections with -- from contaminated food or contaminated
water. Because water's in such short supply, they're drinking from
places they probably shouldn't drink. Likewise, rest room facilities are
probably very inadequate, so it runs the risk of contaminating water
supplies. So we're expecting diarrheal in this as -- kind of the GI
infections.

And then also, we expect to see and we -- we're already hearing
that there are wounds that are becoming infected because they haven't
been treated or cleaned appropriately, or they got cleaned and they
weren't able to get follow-up or antibiotics. So we're expecting to see
those types of wounds. And obviously, the chronic illnesses that go
untreated over the long term, we're expecting those, probably not
immediately, but at least down the road.

Q And is there any different approach to those three, or is
it just the general -- I mean, obviously you have folks prepared for all
three phases there, but I don't know, going in, if you need to be ramped
up more to be looking for infections or to be looking for trauma. Or is
there -- is there a different approach there?
CMDR. MARINO: Well, see, I don't -- I don't know if you -- the
first reporter's question regarding how we would triage -- and a lot of
that's going to be determined -- a lot of this is going to be determined
by triage. So -- but facilities and infrastructure that are on ground
now -- whether it's NGO clinics, whether it is, you know, military
hospitals, whatever -- you know, they may identify patients and then
refer them to a central point, at which point our hospital staff will
hopefully triage them and determine, "Okay, what can we treat right
here in this -- in this Army hospital or field hospital, or what do we
need to bring on board the ship? What can wait? What needs to come
now?"

And you know, the other -- so that's kind of what we're
expecting. I don't have any -- much more -- I don't have much more
information than that for you at this point in time.

But we're a full-service hospital.

We've got every -- just about every specialist onboard. So we do
have the ability to care for just about anything that comes through the
doors.

Q All right, great. Thanks.

CMDR. MARINO: You're welcome.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, Leo.

Sandra (sp), you're next. Please go ahead.

Q Yes. Hi. Thank you for taking my call. What kind of
plan is in place at the moment to accommodate family members of patients
that will be onboard?

CMDR. MARINO: Sandra, I'm sorry, what organization are you
with? Just for my own curiosity.

Q Oh, I'm sorry. CNN.

CMDR. MARINO: Oh, great. Thank you. What plan is in place for
family members onboard right now? Again, we're really trying to save as
many beds as possible for patients who need medical care. If we have
small children, or children that are accompanied with parents, you know,
we'll bring the parent onboard. We're -- I can only say that we're just
trying to minimize -- minimize non-medical people from coming aboard the
ship, because we're truly trying to save all of our beds for as many
patients as we can care for that need medical care. I realize that, you
know, housing is of dire need, but our mission is medical care when we
get down there.

Q Okay. And how will the patients be brought on? Is it
basically going to be by helicopter? Will some be brought on by boat?
CMDR. MARINO: I think right now, Sandra, the tentative plan is
to bring everybody onboard by helicopter. That may change. We do have
boat capability. We have moved patients by boat on previous missions.
Some of that is contingent on sea state and weather, as well as the
capability to land the boats onshore. So all those are things that need
to be considered if we do boat operations.

I believe there are some secure helicopter landing sites right
now, and we will be bringing patients in at least by helicopter
initially. And we will assess our ability to bring -- operate boats and
move patients by boat.

Q Thank you.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, Sandra.

Let's go over to Rob. Rob, do you have any questions?

Q Yeah. My name is Rob Napelle (sp). I'm with Soldiers'
Angels, which is a non-profit.

Commander, I wanted to ask, what's your perspective on the
landscape of capabilities in terms of hospital facilities in the area
right now? You know, we talked about your hospital ship, there's other
nations with hospital ships, the existing hospitals in Haiti, and then
field and military hospitals. You've got a thousand beds.

How many other beds are out there, of one form or another? Do
you have a sense of that?

CMDR. MARINO: You know, Rob, I really don't. I have been so
focused on getting my ship up and running and making sure I have all the
bed capacity I need, I have not had an opportunity to assess that.

I know there are other kind of field hospitals out there. There
are plans to bring more field hospitals in. The Vinson has some
capability. The Bataan has some limited capability. But I don't have a
number, and I wouldn't even hazard a guess.

Q (Fair ?) answer. And if I can presume for a quick
different question, then, there's been talk of how you bring patients on.
It sounds like dock operations has been completely ruled at this point.
Is that a correct assumption?

CMDR. MARINO: Could you say that again? (Inaudible.)

Q It sounds like docking the ship at the pier has been
completely ruled out at this point. Is that a correct assumption?

CMDR. MARINO: Well, I don't believe there is pier in Haiti even
before the earthquake that was capable of handling our ship --

Q Oh, okay.
CMDR. MARINO: -- both because of size and power requirements
and a host of other things. So automatically, that's not an option.

My understanding, based on the news reports and some of their --
some of the reports coming in is that a good number of the piers in Port-
au-Prince are not operational. So you know, some of aids of navigation
have been moved. The supports for the piers have crumbled.

Q Right.

CMDR. MARINO: Some of the piers have collapsed. So I -- again,
very general, but my understanding is, it's not real feasible at the
moment to bring large vessels into Port-au-Prince, and we wouldn't be
able to, regardless, because of our size (and draft ?).

Q I understand. Thank you, Commander. CMDR. MARINO:
You're welcome.

LT. CRAGG: We have time to go around the horn just one more
time. So let's go back over to Jim. Jim, any other questions?

Q Yes. Commander, Jim Dolbow again, with the Naval
Institute Blog. Will you be partnering with allied nations like the
Dutch, like you did for Continuing Promise '09? I recall they had a team
down there. They pretty much manned one of your operating rooms.

CMDR. MARINO: Yeah, we actually -- for the last mission, we
actually had pretty significant multinational support from a host of
nations through the Caribbean and South America, as well as Europe.

I -- at this point, I don't know. I don't have an answer for
you. I'm sorry.

Q Okay. Well, keep up the good work, and God bless you and
the crew.

CMDR. MARINO: I appreciate it. I'll pass your kind words
on. Thank you.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, Jim.

Andrew?

Q Sir, Andrew Lubin again, Leatherneck magazine. With you
arriving tomorrow down there, for how long are you provisioned, or how
long are you able to stay before you got to return and reprovision and
regroup?

CMDR. MARINO: Well, let me stress that I am the director of
nursing; I am not the director of supply or logistics for this ship.

Q Okay.
CMDR. MARINO: I can't even hazard a guess. We've been assured
that there is a(n) active supply line. It's already in progress, and it
is shuttling supplies both to the -- all the military entities as well as
some of the nongovernmental that are down there. And we will have -- I
don't want to say immediate, but we have pretty quick access to that
supply line. But that's the best I can tell you.

Q Okay. Thank you.

CMDR. MARINO: You're welcome.

LT. CRAGG: Thanks, Andrew.

Richard?

Q Hello, this is Richard Lowry with op-for.com. The reports
coming out of Port-au-Prince show that the hospitals that they've set up
in the city are in dire need of sterile surgical capability. As soon as
you arrive, you are going to have the best and largest surgical
capability in the area. How soon do you think you're going to be
receiving surgical patients?

CMDR. MARINO: We actually anticipate them almost immediately.
My understanding, again, is that there is -- there are patients coming
who will at least need to be CAT-scanned, and that will happen as early
as tomorrow. We're ready. We've actually been doing drills for the
past two days of patient flow. We had drills today where we practiced
mannequins coming in from the flight deck. So as quick as they -- as
quick as we can get into the area of operations, and as quick as we can
get helos either from the Vinson, the Bataan, or ones we have on board
our ship to bring patients aboard, we will start taking patients. So I -
- I'm willing to guess pretty shortly after we get there we'll be --
we'll be providing surgical services.

Q Just a quick follow-up. How many helicopters are you
bringing with you?

CMDR. MARINO: We are carrying two at the moment. And that's
all -- that's actually all we have room for. But the Bataan has a huge
assortment of helos, and the carrier wing also has some fixed and
rotorcraft. And obviously we can only handle the helos.

LT. CRAGG: Okay. Thank you, Richard.

Olivia?

Q I'll pass on this one.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you.

Leo?

Q Yeah, just real quick, I -- a bunch of folks have said
this could be a very long mission. Have you had conversations with your
personnel about care fatigue? And what programs do you have to make sure
that they're not -- they're not wearing down too quickly?

CMDR. MARINO: Right. You know, that's a -- (inaudible) --
question, and I actually am meeting with some of my staff in about 30
minutes to discuss some of that.

We have chaplains on board. We have host of mental health
professionals on board. We have discussed it. You know, I think a lot
of the staff is nervous and scared. I have to readily admit I am nervous
and scared. And I think anybody who would be going into a situation like
this, where you don't know what you're going to find when you get there,
would be nervous and scared. You know, I think that's a reality.

I think everybody on board the ship is a little different, in
that we all volunteered to do what we're doing with the thought of
bettering the greater good, and I think we have a mindset where, you
know, we want to be here and we're also expecting this.

Additionally, a number of my staff have been deployed already to
Afghanistan, to Iraq, to Kuwait. They've been on a number of
deployments. I've got a number of staff who've deployed to a number of
disasters. So a fair amount of my staff has already had dealings with
this, and they've been helping some of the more insecure and
inexperienced staff with dealing with some of these things and what to
expect.

So we're all talking through this. Humor is always a good
thing, and we're certainly trying a lot of that. I have to say that I'm
just so impressed with the morale of my crew and how quickly we've come
together as as team despite coming from, you know, different places
across the United States. But, you know, we're here for each other.
We're all in the same boat, so to speak -- (inaudible) -- considering the
circumstances.

But I think everybody's ready to go. We do have the resources
on board if we need, and hopefully, we have enough staff that, you know,
we can occasionally take a little bit of a breather break, whether it's,
you know, 30 minutes to read a book somewhere or take care of your
laundry and whatnot and get a good night's rest. But we're ready to go.

Q All right. Great. Thanks.

CMDR. MARINO: Thank you. LT. CRAGG: Okay. Real quickly,
Sandra?

Q Yes, hi.

LT. CRAGG: Do you have a follow-on question?

Q Yes, thank you.

You said that you expect to get there either tomorrow or
Thursday. Just wondering if you can lock down the timeline a little
better for me. If it's tomorrow, is it going to be in the morning? Will
it be most likely in the evening? And if it's Thursday --

CMDR. MARINO: Sandra, I apologize. I just have to stress I am
the director of nursing and I'm not the master of the ship. So I don't
even know where at on -- where at we are on the globe right now. I --
obviously, I have no idea. So --

Q Okay.

CMDR. MARINO: -- I can't answer that for you.

I really don't know.

Q All right. Thank you.

CMDR. MARINO: You're welcome. I'm sorry.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, Sandra.

Rob, any final questions before I turn it back over to the
commander?

Q Commander, less a question than an offer. You mentioned
you're going into a meeting with your staff in half an hour about morale.
Soldiers' angels -- our whole mission is supporting folks like yourself
on the front lines, and sending care packages and all that good stuff.
So I'm going to send some information to Jennifer that I hope will reach
you. And if there's anything that the civilians onshore can do to make
your jobs easier, we are an organization that can help. So, just keep
that in mind.

CMDR. MARINO: I appreciate that. Thank you so much. Thank
you.

LT. CRAGG: Okay. With that, I'm going to turn it back over to
the commander.

Commander Marino, if you'd like to end with a closing statement?

CMDR. MARINO: Oh, great. Well, you know, thank you, everybody,
for the interest and the concern.

You know, I will only say once again that I'm truly impressed
with the crew that we have. If you think about the diversity of
background, the diversity of age, and the diversity of experience, and
the fact that we could indeed put together a ship -- essentially, an
industrial complex -- and turn it into a functioning hospital in such a
quick time, and get it to Haiti to provide relief.

We're just all so sad about what's going on down there, and we
all want so much to be able to help those people. We've made friends
with them in the past when we were down there. In fact, I've been in
communication with -- translators who have volunteered on our ship the
last time we were down there. And I was much relieved to get an e- mail
from her, hearing that she was okay and she's actually willing to come
back to the ship and help us. Her -- and she's trying to gather up
others to give us a hand with translation. So, I mean, this is personal
for many of us as well, because we have connections down here. A number
of our staff are Haitian, and they have family members down here or they
have friends down here.

So I mean, we're driven to do good things, and our goal is to
help relieve the suffering of the Haitians and provide them the best
medical care that we're capable to do with what we have. And I'll close
it with that.

LT. CRAGG: Thank you, sir, very much.

And a note for everyone on the line: The USNS Comfort is
expected to reach on station tomorrow -- tomorrow morning. Just wanted
to put that out. I just received an e-mail on that. So no more
specifics --

CMDR. MARINO: Oh, great. Thanks for the update. (Chuckles.)

LT. CRAGG: No problem, sir. Thanks to the good PAO aboard the
USNS Comfort, Lieutenant Bashon Mann. So, thank you, Bashon Mann. Thank
you so much.

So with that, I'd like to remind everybody, if you'd like to get
a copy of the transcript or a copy of the audio file, simply go to
www.dodlive.mil. You'll find the transcript, probably in a couple of
hours, as well as the audio file.

Or if you want to download it, you can go to
www.blogtalkradio.com/bloggersroundtable.

With that, thank you so much, sir. Please be safe. And thank
you to -- (inaudible) -- thank you to everybody.

CMDR. MARINO: Thank you.

Q Thank you, Commander. Thanks a lot.

Q Thank you.

Q Thank you, Commander.

END.