Saturday, March 28, 2020

Navy Hospital Ships and COVID-19

The U.S. Navy has dispatched two hospital ships to New York City and Los Angeles to support medical efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The USNS Mercy arrived in Los Angeles harbor on Friday, March 27th and the USNS Comfort departed Norfolk, VA on Saturday, March 28th for New York.

Originally no reports on what the USNS Comfort is using for radios after her arrival in NYC. However later posts indicate there is possibly activity on 385.1875 MHz, N401 that is related to the Comfort.

Here is a link to the thread on Radio Reference about the Comfort:

The USNS Mercy has been reported to be using an on-board UHF DMR radio system for their operations. The system is NOT using frequencies in the normal federal/military radio bands, but instead is using what are public safety allocations here in the United States in the UHF band. Here is a quick rundown of what is known so far:

DMR Motorola Capacity+

LCN 1 458.225, CC 1

LCN 2 458.325, CC 2

LCN 3 458.425, CC 3

LCN 4 458.525, CC 4

LCN 5 458.625, CC 5

Note the unusual use of the 453 MHz channels as inputs and 458 MHz channels as repeater outputs. This is often done in maritime applications of floating repeater systems.

You can find a thread on the Mercy radio system on Radio Reference here: