Crew members aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) man the rails as the ship prepares to moor at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Trevor Kohlrus)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Pearl Harbor May 18 as the ship and approximately 700 embarked personnel begin Pacific Partnership 2016. Pacific Partnership. In its 11th year Pacific Partnership will emphasize disaster preparedness through multilateral cooperation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

While in port Mercy will take on supplies and additional mission members, both civilian and military, and will continue mission preparation.

“It is a privilege and an honor to lead such a talented and dedicated group of professionals on this mission.” said Capt. Tom Williams, US Navy, Pacific Partnership 2016 Mission Commander. “We will embark more personnel here in Hawaii and continue to build our team with our partners. I look forward to working together in our first mission stop early next month.”

After a brief stop in Guam next, Mercy will visit Timor Leste, the Republic of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, where Pacific Partnership personnel will participate in subject-matter expert and civil-military exchanges, emphasizing the importance of cooperation on a regional scale.

Mission members will engage in side-by-side humanitarian and disaster relief (HA/DR) seminars, as well as medical, dental and civil-engineering medical symposiums and projects while on the mission.