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PACIFIC OCEAN - Nearly halfway through the Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) mission, another wave of participants from various countries and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) joined the team aboard USNS Mercy team while in port in Subic Bay, Philippines, July 7.
While in Subic Bay, 131 staff finished their role in the mission and were replaced by 139 new team members eager to start their Pacific Partnership experience.
PP12 Administrative Officer Lt. Cmdr. James MacIsaac said the new team has personnel from all different groups and walks of life.
"We have a well rounded group to cover our mission," he said. "The nice thing is that everyone had their piece of the puzzle to make this work."
"We (administrative office) are the ones who take care of the paper work those leaving or arriving to the mission. The supply department sets up the logistical area to transport them from the airport to the ship. It's an all-hands effort when we bring people on board."
The new participants all have unique experiences and skill sets to bring to the mission and are eager to put their knowledge to use.
New Zealand Army Maj. Paul Kendall, a new member of the PP12 team, said, "I feel very privileged that we can work with partners and host nations to assist with humanitarian aid and also look at disaster relief planning."
"New Zealand is placed in the south pacific and has a commitment to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Pacific. We see this as a good exercise to ensure interoperability between the different services and organizations."
The remaining Pacific Partnership 2012 mission ports include Vinh, Vietnam, and Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Through active engagement with host nation officials and militaries, subject matter expert exchanges, civil action projects and medical exchanges, the mission will continue to build the regional partnerships and collective abilities needed to respond to natural disasters.
Sponsored by the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet and now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual humanitarian civic assistance mission in the Asia-Pacific Region.
For more information about the PP12 mission, please visit the Pacific Partnership Blog or engage with Pacific Partnership on Facebook and Twitter.