USNS MERCY Thank You Card from PAPA
USNS MERCY TAH-19
A few days before departing her home port
of San Diego for Los Angeles
The PAPA System sent a care package to the USNS MERCY Navy hospital ship's ham shack, K6MRC, and her ham operators. This was a joint effort along with the San Diego Yacht Club Amateur Radio Group.
Sign the card
We’re asking all PAPA members to sign the virtual thank you card that will be sent to the K6MRC crew. You only have a few days to do so and it only takes a minute. Here’s the link and please include your call sign if you have one!
Tips for signing:
- Sign from a desktop browser if possible, your smart phone will do in a pinch
- Before you click to submit your message please click on the “back” arrow of the virtual card to place your message on a previous page with other messages
- Resize the message by clicking and dragging on a corner of your message text box and drag and place on an area where there’s enough space
- We’re trying to avoid lots of empty white space on this virtual card’s pages - which will happen if you accept the default page this service places you at.
K6MRC is operated by Josh Harris, KJ6BXB, Scott Hession W6HES, and Mike Taylor W6TAY. They have operated a Winlink station for many years (started by Neill Thornton, K6NRT) and actively use ham radio, not just for emergency communications, whenever on humanitarian missions across the Pacific. You can actively track the MERCY on APRS (via www.aprs.fi and the callsign K6MRC-1 - see https://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FK6MRC-1&timerange=3600&tail=3600).
The 1,000 bed MERCY became the largest hospital in Los Angeles when she docked at the cruise ship terminal in San Pedro on March 27th, 2020. Her slogan is “Steaming to assist.” Her stats are impressive - the MERCY:
- was originally a San Clemente-class super oil tanker before it was converted and finished in 1987
- is 894 feet long; The beam, the widest part of the ship, is 106 feet wide
- has the same functions and capabilities as a typical hospital
- offers CAT scan, four radiology suites, 12 operating rooms, an isolation ward, and 80 ICU beds - all on the ship
- can store up to 5,000 units of blood in her onboard blood bank
For more details see her wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USNS_Mercy_(T-AH-19) and her official US Navy page here: http://www.mercy.navy.mil
All MERCY crew are confined to the ship during the COVID-19 pandemic, unable to disembark while docked at San Pedro’s cruise ship terminal. They are in a protective bubble, no one goes on or off the ship except patients and supplies.
We asked this MERCY ham radio team to provide a wish list of items they needed while isolated. They came back with an equipment request for the K6MRC ham shack. The PAPA System ordered these items which consisted of:
- Amphenol RF 172135-2 - Amphenol RF N Type Straight Crimp Plugs
- Amphenol RF 182115-10 - Amphenol RF UHF Male Crimp Connectors
- Times Microwave Systems 54021 - Times Microwave Bulk Coaxial Cables
- CHAMELEON ANTENNA EMCOMM- III-P - CHAMELEON ANTENNA EMCOMM-III-P Portable HF Antenna
- 6 ft. 10 gauge Power Supply Cable with 45 amp Powerpole Connectors
- West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4008
- Powerwerx Watt Meter, DC Inline Power Analyzer, 45A Continuous, 12 Gauge, Powerpole Connectors
We included other items to raise their spirits. These included 2 packages of Duke's Original Recipe Smoked Shorty Sausages, a favorite of the K6MRC operators as well as other items provided by the SDYC Amateur Radio Group.
Some messages were traded with Josh Harris of the MERCY’s ham shack crew last week and he reported they are doing well and that they're very thankful to receive anything. They don't know how long they'll be at San Pedro's cruise ship terminal assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic. He also reported that the three of them enjoy a cigar every Sunday morning - which happens to coincide with the PAPA System's Southern California Boater’s Net - held every Sunday morning at 0900 Pacific Time. We trust they’ll not forget to bring their hand held radios to check in and give us an update on life aboard the MERCY while enjoying their weekly cigar.
Thank you and remember, the PAPA System is YOUR club, it is our members that make the system what it is- GREAT!
Get on the AIR, get RADIO ACTIVE!