SANTA RITA, Guam - More than 50 Sailors from Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 7 Security Division 71 and U.S. Naval Hospital Guam (NHG) arrived at U.S. Naval Base Guam aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) Aug. 30, after successfully completing their mission as part of the international humanitarian mission Pacific Partnership 2010.
Mercy, a Military Sealift Command hospital ship, was the platform from which hundreds of civilians and service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces operated during the mission. The five-month humanitarian deployment offered a variety of engineering, medical, dental, subject matter expert exchanges, and logistic civic action programs to six countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Republic of Palau.
While deployed, MSRON 7 Sailors provided force security protection for the mission as well as support security operations at host nations. NHG Sailors provided humanitarian medical aid to needy citizens of the six partner countries.
According to Lt. Cmdr. David McMillan, officer in charge, MSRON 7 Security Division 71, the command is extremely proud of the work done by its deployed Sailors
"MSRON 7 is extremely proud of the positive impact they have had on the people in need of medical treatment during Operation Pacific Partnership 2010,” he said. “It was an opportunity of a lifetime to participate in such a far reaching humanitarian effort, and our Sailors rose to the challenges they faced. With the support of all the Sailors and coalition nations involved, the mission was a complete success."
For one NHG Sailor in particular, the mission had a special significance.
“I was born in a third-world country,” said Hospitalman Gray Gray. “When I heard we’d be going out to help people of similar backgrounds, I was immediately on board for the task.”
Gray said that not only was he able to help many grateful people, but he also found that his efforts helped maintain a positive view of the U.S. in the eyes of those he interacted with.
“What I took away from the mission is that they really like the U.S. out there,” he said. “We went out to help, and it was well appreciated.”
Many participants in the operation agreed that the mission had been a success. They also said that they were glad to return to their friends and families in Guam.
“It was awesome. Going to other countries to help people really felt good,” said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Kelly Douglas, of MSRON 7. “But now it’s awesome to be home. It’s just great.”
MSRON 7 provides rapidly deployable forces to conduct or support anti-terrorism and force protection missions. MSRON 7 promotes the Maritime Strategy by providing security for American citizens, through the application of sea power, and by strengthening partnerships with allied nations.
NHG’s mission is to provide world class health services in support of our nation’s military mission — anytime, anywhere.
Mercy’s mission is to provide rapid, flexible, and mobile acute medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps Air/Ground Task Forces deployed ashore, Army and Air Force units deployed ashore, and naval amphibious task forces and battle forces afloat. Secondarily, she provides mobile surgical hospital service for use by appropriate U.S. Government agencies in disaster or humanitarian relief or limited humanitarian care incident to these missions or peacetime military operations.