Pacific Partnership participants from the U.S. Navy, partner nations and non-governmental organizations review the upcoming schedule of events at sea aboard USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), May 26, as the ship transits toward Samoa, the first stop of the annual mission. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Laurie Dexter)

PACIFIC OCEAN - Pacific Partnership 2013 members embarked aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) entered the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), May 28.

Pacific Partnership, the largest disaster response-preparedness mission in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, is currently en route to its first mission port in Samoa.

All mission ports for Pacific Partnership 2013 are located within the 7th Fleet AOR.

"The transition from 3rd Fleet to 7th Fleet represents an important and exciting step in the execution of Pacific Partnership 2013," said Royal New Zealand Air Force Group Capt. Darryn Webb, Pacific Partnership 2013 deputy mission commander.

According to U.S. Navy Cmdr. Michael Harris, Pearl Harbor's commanding officer, the ship is ready and its crew is excited to get to work.

"The ship's role in Pacific Partnership is to provide support for the partner nations, non-governmental organizations, and US military members aboard," Harris said. "The crew is looking forward to participating in as many events as possible."

Pacific Partnership was born of the multinational response to the 2004 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia. In its eighth iteration, the mission contributes to stability and security by opening dialogue between leaders, fostering relationships, and building mutual trust and respect, while ensuring that the international community is better prepared to work together as a coordinated team when a regional disaster strikes.

This year Pacific Partnership will work with and in the host nations of Samoa, Tonga, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.