* This site is privately owned and is not affiliated or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

Casualty receiving and treatment ship (CRTS)


Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship (CRTS) refers to a type of naval vessel specifically designed and equipped for the medical care and treatment of injured personnel during military operations. These ships provide essential medical facilities, services, and staff to cater to various levels of medical needs. Their primary purpose is to deliver immediate care and support to those who have incurred casualties in conflicts, disaster relief operations, or other emergencies.

Key Takeaways

  1. Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ships (CRTS) are specialized, naval vessels designed to provide comprehensive medical care to injured or sick military personnel during times of conflict or disaster relief operations.
  2. These floating hospitals are equipped with advanced medical facilities, including operating rooms, intensive care units, and diagnostic capabilities, enabling them to provide an extensive range of patient care services ashore and offshore.
  3. By providing immediate and advanced medical treatment, CRTS contribute significantly to saving lives and maintaining the operational readiness of military forces, while also assisting in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions around the world.


The Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship (CRTS) plays a crucial role in military operations by providing essential medical facilities and treatment to personnel during times of conflict or disaster relief missions.

Equipped with advanced medical equipment, professional healthcare staff, and surgical capabilities, the CRTS ensures that injured personnel receive prompt and appropriate medical care, thus improving their chances of survival and recovery.

Furthermore, the presence of such a specialized ship not only enhances the overall efficiency of military operations but also demonstrates a commitment to the safety and well-being of troops, fostering morale and confidence in the mission.


The Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship (CRTS) serves a critical purpose within the scope of military operations, specifically in providing medical support to troops engaged in combat or humanitarian missions. Its primary function is to offer a full range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and post-operative recovery, to injured or ill military personnel and civilians when on-site medical facilities might be inadequate or non-existent.

These vessels are an essential part of a coordinated medical response and work closely with other field hospitals, evacuation teams, and medical transport to ensure that patients receive the necessary care in the fastest and safest way possible. Additionally, CRTSs are equipped with advanced medical facilities comparable to those found in hospitals in non-conflict zones, including specialized medical staff, diagnostic equipment, and life support systems.

This enables CRTSs to cater to a wide array of medical needs ranging from immediate battlefield injuries to chronic health conditions. Being afloat, these ships can be positioned close to the operational area, making them highly accessible during times of crisis or natural disasters.

Overall, the CRTS plays a pivotal role in preserving the lives and wellbeing of those affected by conflict or calamity, acting as a beacon of hope and an indispensable lifeline to those in dire circumstances.

Examples of Casualty receiving and treatment ship (CRTS)

USNS Comfort (T-AH-20): USNS Comfort is a Mercy-class hospital ship of the United States Navy. Launched in 1987, the ship has been involved in various military and humanitarian operations, including Operation Desert Storm, Operation Uphold Democracy, and Operation Continuing Promise. As a CRTS, Comfort provides comprehensive medical services, including trauma care, surgery, radiology, mental health, and dental services, for combat casualties and civilians during military operations and natural disasters.

USNS Mercy (T-AH-19): USNS Mercy is the sister ship of USNS Comfort and is also a Mercy-class hospital ship for the United States Navy. Mercy has been active since 1986 and has participated in humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions such as Operation Fiery Vigil, the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship serves as a CRTS and has the capacity to treat a wide range of medical conditions, from life-threatening injuries to primary care needs.

RFA Argus (A135): The RFA Argus is a British Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship designed to serve as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (PCRS). Commissioned in 1988, the ship has a 100-bed medical complex, multiple operating rooms, and can function as a fully-equipped floating hospital. Throughout its service, RFA Argus has participated in several military and humanitarian operations such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Operation Gritrock in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Irma. As a CRTS, the ship provides specialized medical care and is equipped to handle both military and civilian casualties.

Frequently Asked Questions: Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship (CRTS)

What is a Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship (CRTS)?

A Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship (CRTS) is a type of military vessel specifically designed to provide medical support and care for injured personnel during military operations. CRTSs are equipped with modern medical facilities and staffed with medical professionals to enable swift treatment of casualties in the field.

What is the primary function of a CRTS?

The primary function of a CRTS is to provide prompt medical attention and ongoing care for injured military personnel during military operations. This includes initial triage, emergency medical treatment, and stabilization of patients for transfer to more specialized medical facilities if required.

How does a CRTS differ from a hospital ship?

While both CRTS and hospital ships provide medical support to military personnel, there are some key differences. A CRTS is typically smaller, more agile, and has a narrower focus on immediate casualty treatment and stabilization. Hospital ships, on the other hand, are larger vessels with more extensive medical facilities and capabilities, including the capacity to treat a broader range of medical conditions and perform advanced medical procedures.

What kind of medical facilities and staff can be found on a CRTS?

A CRTS is equipped with a range of medical facilities, including emergency rooms, operating rooms, intensive care units, and recovery wards. The onboard medical staff typically includes doctors, nurses, medics, and other healthcare professionals, who are trained and experienced in providing urgent care and treatment for combat-related injuries and illnesses.

How do personnel get transported to a CRTS?

Injured personnel are usually transported to a CRTS via military helicopters or small boats, depending on the situation and available resources. In some cases, casualties may be brought directly to the CRTS by fellow soldiers or transported by land-based ambulances if it is safe and practical to do so.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Medical Evacuation
  • Combat Support Hospital
  • Field Medicine
  • Triage System
  • Emergency Medical Treatment

Sources for More Information

  • United States Navy: The official website of the United States Navy provides information on various naval vessels, including Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ships (CRTS).
  • UK Ministry of Defence: This is the official website of the UK Ministry of Defence, which provides information on military vessels, including CRTS used by the British Armed Forces.
  • Naval Technology: This website is dedicated to providing news and information about a wide range of naval equipment and vessels, including CRTS.
  • The UK Parliament’s Defence Committee: Official reports and publications by the UK Parliament’s Defence Committee can provide additional information on Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ships.