USNS Mercy departs Indonesia after first Pacific Partnership mission stop

10 April 2018

From MC2 Kelsey L. Adams, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship departed Bengkulu, Indonesia, April 10.
BENGKULU, Indonesia (March 30, 2018) Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) sits anchored off the coast of Bengkulu in support of Mercy�s first mission stop of Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18). PP18�s mission is to work collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific Region. Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cameron Pinske/Released)
USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) sits anchored off the coast of Bengkulu, Indonesia, March 30. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Cameron Pinske)
BENGKULU, Indonesia (March 30, 2018) Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) sits anchored off the coast of Bengkulu in support of Mercy�s first mission stop of Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18). PP18�s mission is to work collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific Region. Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cameron Pinske/Released)
180330-N-MD713-0008
USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) sits anchored off the coast of Bengkulu, Indonesia, March 30. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Cameron Pinske)
Photo By: MC3 Cameron Pinske
VIRIN: 180330-N-MD713-0008

BENGKULU, Indonesia - Service members and partner nations participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) departed Bengkulu aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), April 10.

"I'd like to thank the residents of Bengkulu for their hospitality. I have found that they are some of the most engaging and friendly people I have ever met," said Capt. David Bretz, PP18 mission commander.

"It was very exciting to finally be at our first mission stop and I want to express my gratitude for all of the hard work and dedication shown by our service members and partner nations."

While in Bengkulu, service members and partner nations aboard Mercy, Indonesian military members, and civilians participated in a series of community relations events interacting with the local community at eight different events, with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band conducting 12 concerts at locations such as local elementary and junior high schools, universities, and receptions. The engineering line of effort constructed a new school building and a community hall, while the medical and dental lines of effort participated in a total of 25 cooperative health engagements and 24 different subject matter expert exchange discussions.

They also provided two veterinary information exchanges with local veterinarians and animal control.

Additionally, service members and local government officials exchanged experiences, ideas, and advice during a Women's Peace and Security international engagement conference. The three-day conference was held in Bengkulu and aboard Mercy. The conference sparked productive discussions about ways to enhance disaster preparedness and response. It also highlighted the importance of women and children being active participants when it comes to conflict prevention, building peace, and post-conflict resolution.

During PP18, Mercy and Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6), U.S. ships participating in PP18, are conducting visits to different Indo-Pacific nations, increasing the reach and scope of PP18 participants and host nation counterparts to conduct technical expertise exchanges in medical, engineering, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Additionally, key leader and community engagement events will allow for direct engagement with local citizens and enhanced relationships with partner nation military and government leadership.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. PP18's objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.

Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.

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