Pacific Partnership Kicks Off in Cambodia
SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia - The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s JS Kunisaki (LST 4003), carrying a multinational crew of U.S., Australian and Japanese personnel, arrived in Sihanoukville June 19 for Pacific Partnership 2014.
The Deputy Commander of Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province, Royal Cambodian Navy Rear Adm. Ros Veasna, and members of his staff welcomed the ship and crew.
PP14 Mission Commander U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Shipman, Deputy Mission Commander Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Capt. Yoichi Matsui, and mission Chief of Staff Australian Army Lt. Col. John Cronin met with Veasna and his staff aboard Kunisaki.
“We’ve received a very warm welcome from the people of Cambodia and look forward to working together over the next 10 days,” said Chief Warrant Officer Rob Goode, the officer in charge of the Cambodia team. “Our Pacific Partnership team will be working in several locations throughout the country side by side as a multinational force training for possible future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.”
The Pacific Partnership team will be conducting professional medical exchanges, including providing basic medical, dental, and optometry clinics; a nursing skills workshop; and veterinary surgical and vaccination services. The U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will conduct several public performances. Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One have been working for several weeks with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to complete three maternity wards.
“The people in the communities where we have been working really appreciate the efforts of the U.S. and the Cambodian forces working together,” said 1st Lt. Chan That Nousarun of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ engineering unit.
Kunisaki has already visited Vietnam during this year’s mission and will continue on to the Republic of the Philippines after Cambodia. Simultaneous to the seaborne phase, an airborne phase is currently underway in Dili, Timor-Leste.
Pacific Partnership is in its ninth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.