Admiral stresses value of relations during Pacific Partnership visit
DILI, Timor-Leste - Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Requirements, Rear Adm. Thomas F. Carney visited several Pacific Partnership 2010 mission sites, including the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) Aug. 19.
Carney toured Nu Laran School, where several projects are being conducted by host and partner nation Seabees and engineers alike, in support of the engineering civic action program (ENCAP), including painting, renovations, and installing a new septic system.
“We are really fortunate to have this many organizations participating in this mission,” said Carney. “Not only U.S. military, also foreign military and foreign non-governmental organizations, which work with us to make Pacific Partnership a success.”
Carney said the mission is about much more than planned operations.
“It is not just the good medical, dental, or engineering works that are being conducted, but also the relations we build to facilitate the host nation countries, teach them, and learn from them, so in the event of an actual natural disaster, we would know who to work with during recovery operations. This mission is a tremendous success in building a team effort.”
Carney, accompanied by Commander, Pacific Partnership 2010, Capt. Lisa M. Franchetti, next visited a soccer stadium, where more than 20 Mercy crewmembers, led by Navy Chaplain (Lt.) Derrick Horne, were preparing the field for an upcoming game by Timorese Ministry of Youth and Sports and Pacific Partnership 2010 participants.
Carney toured the hospital ship and ate lunch before taking a helicopter to a medical/dental civic action program (MED/DENCAP) at Saint Maria School Suai, in a remote region of Timor-Leste. Hundreds of Timorese citizens were at the MED/DENCAP to receive a variety of medical services.
“I am very impressed with the quality of care we have been able to provide. We try to work as hard as we can to treat as many patients as possible,” said Cdr. Bharat Patel, officer-in-charge of the Suai MECAP. “Today is our final day of operations here. Not only is it important for us to see as many patients as we can, we have to provide a high level of care, because many people may not have access to these types of care.”
Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian assistance and disaster relief endeavors, aimed at strengthening regional partnerships. Having already completed operations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia, Mercy will conclude operations in Timor-Leste in several days, marking the final country where Mercy will conduct operations in support of Pacific Partnership 2010. Pacific Partnership 2010 will continue to Papua New Guinea aboard HMAs Tobruk (LSH-50).