Lt. Cmdr. Justin Dye of Navy Medical Center San Diego examines neurological injury patients with local doctors at Khahn Hoa General Hospital, May 22. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Joshua Fulton)

KHANH HOA, Vietnam - Pacific Partnership 2017 departed from Nha Trang, Vietnam on May 29 after completing 10 days of disaster response training, medical and engineering subject matter expert exchanges, cooperative health engagements, and community service events.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year and the eighth time the mission has visited Vietnam in the past 11 years. In addition to the team aboard expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4), the Nha Trang mission also featured sailors from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s destroyers JS Izumo and JS Sazanami.

Vietnamese and PP17 personnel conducted training and subject matter expert exchanges for a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) workshop, focusing on disaster preparedness, coastal medicine and search and rescue. The program completed three separate engineering projects at Hoa Mi Kindergarten School, Son Ca Kindergarten School and Khanh Hoa Social Protection Center. Around the city of Nha Trang, a nine-member component of the U.S. Seventh Fleet Band performed at Phan Chu Trinh Secondary School and gave public performances at Yen Sao Park and Thanh Nien Park.

“It's a chance for us to connect with the people of Vietnam without the need for a common spoken language,” said Lt. Brian Chaplow, the Seventh Fleet Band Director. “The audience we had at the performances was very involved and engaged, and very interested in meeting us. This is the most rewarding part of our job – interacting with the people of Nha Trang.”

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius commented, “During Pacific Partnership 17, men and women in uniform from partner countries worked side-by-side with local professionals to improve humanitarian assistance and disaster response capacity, enhance regional partnerships and increase multilateral cooperation with the people of Vietnam. These activities in Da Nang and Nha Trang are concrete examples of the depth of our comprehensive partnership.