During a visit coordinated through Pacific Parnership, U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jeffrey Garcia and a Samoan firefighter check the condition of medical equipment belonging to the Samoan Fire and Emergency Services Authority to ensure its readiness to respond in case of emergency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II)

APIA, Samoa - Pacific Partnership personnel and distinguished Samoan guests attended a closing ceremony for Pacific Partnership's mission in Samoa, June 8.

The ceremony was held on the pier next to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), the mission platform this year, and included guest speakers from the U.S. Embassy in Samoa, the Samoan Ministry of Education, and Pacific Partnership mission leadership, while a more casual gathering afterwards featured traditional Samoan dance from the Don Bosco Technical College.

"The Samoan phase of Pacific Partnership 2013 was standard-setting," said Capt. Wallace Lovely, Pacific Partnership 2013 mission commander, in his address to the group. "The intense efforts in delivering goods and skills ashore were remarkable."

Pacific Partnership personnel consisting of U.S. armed forces, partner nation military forces and non-governmental organizations conducted various projects throughout Samoa over the past seven days including multiple community service projects totaling more than 1,600 man-hours.

Mission personnel held more than 60 medical and dental engagements, provided veterinary services at 12 sites, and performed five engineering missions and four underwater harbor surveys while in Samoa.

"It's good to get a lot of people involved with missions like this, not only just one country," said Mr. Lapana M. To'a, a Samoan and U.S. Navy Veteran attending the event. "It makes the relationship better for each country to work together."

U.S. Marine Cpl. Seth Eckel spent the week installing water filtration systems in communities throughout Samoa. He said the people he helped were grateful for the assistance.

"When we were finished everybody was thanking us and giving us gifts," said Eckel. "All of us wanted to do more, but it's also good because we're going to other countries and doing the same thing."

Pacific Partnership is the largest disaster response-preparation mission in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Partners that include Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States are working together through the mission to strengthen regional relationships and foster a team approach to crisis and disaster response-preparedness.

The USS Pearl Harbor travels next to Tonga. Host nations for this year's mission also include Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Nora Hussey, a volunteer with the non-governmental organization Project HOPE, talks with a patient at the Diabetic Association Clinic in Apia during Pacific Partnership. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha J. Webb)
U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman Herber Gutierrez prescribes a pair of reading glasses to Sister Margaret Du Coeur Immaculee of Little Sisters of the Poor nursing home in Apai while visiting to donate medical supplies and bedding during Pacific Partnership. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter)
U.S. Army Capt. Cherise Neu and Dr. Kristin Camp, a World Vet volunteer demonstrates to employees of the Samoan Animal Production and Health Division in Apia how to perform equine dentistry during Pacific Partnership. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha J. Webb)
Teachers at the Asau Primary School thank Steelworker 2nd Class Justin Sneed during a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of renovations to the Asau Primary School by Pacific Partnership 2013 Seabees and French Army Engineers. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tim D. Godbee)
Royal Australian Navy Maj. Geoff Harvey, left, extracts a tooth from a Samoan patient at a medical clinic in Apia during Pacific Partnership. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II)
U.S. Navy Capt. Wallace Lovely, Pacific Partnership's mission commander, and Royal New Zealand Air Force Group Capt. Darryn Webb, the mission's deputy commander, shave coconuts during a community service project in Mulifanua. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tim D. Godbee)
U.S. and partner nation service members stand at parade rest during the Pacific Partnership closing ceremony in Apia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tim D. Godbee)