While the hospital ship, USS Mercy is in Los Angeles on COVID-19 duty, it uses medical staff from the Navy’s Medical Center in San Diego, commonly called Balboa. This of course diminishes the medical staff available for the largest Naval community in the world, San Diego.

The Mercy on this coast, and the Comfort on the East Coast, don’t have Doctors of their own, they must find Doctors and medical staff elsewhere. Just like Ventilators, there is no “stash” of Doctors. If the Navy runs short they will call up Reservists and they will come from your local hospital.

I remember writing Washington about a “Ghost” C-B Battalion, made up entirely of ship-fitters at Mare Island. They were too important to the Navy to be called up, but they were on the books as a reserve fighting force. They were being counted twice, sort of a widely acceptable fiction. Of course the Navy in Washington never replied to me, except when I got in trouble. (Often.)

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