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Pacific Partnership Concludes Visit to Indonesia

15 June 2012

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristopher Regan

The multinational Pacific Partnership team, operating from hospital ship USNS Mercy, completed work in its first mission port, June 15.

MANADO, Indonesia - Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) completed its first mission port in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, June 15.

Aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), the PP12 team of more than 1,200 crew spent 15 days traveling between Manado and the three islands of Sangihe, Talaud, and Siau.

The multinational, multi-organizational crew of host and partner nations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worked in the fields of medical and dental, veterinarian, civil engineering and subject matter expert exchanges. They also conducted community service in the areas of sports and recreation, donated items and band performances.

"I believe the key to our success was our ability to bring people together in a focused effort," said Capt. James Morgan, PP12 Mission Commander. "We have accomplished a great deal in two weeks time."

The mission participated in 11 major subject matter expert exchanges involving more than 1,000 Indonesian specialists, allowing this year's mission to continue building on established best practices for all the countries involved.

According to Morgan, nearly 200 surgeries were conducted; four major engineering projects stood up; over 2,300 livestock and pets received veterinary care; and, over 9,000 local citizens received medical evaluations and treatments in Manado and on the outer islands.

The crew also conducted cultural exchanges and community service with local citizens by playing sports, reading with children, transporting donated supplies, and conducting 10 music concerts and clinics performed by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band.

The goal of PP12 is to take part in a humanitarian and civic assistance mission that brings together U.S. military and civilian personnel, host and partner nations, non-government organizations and international agencies to build stronger relationships and develop disaster response capabilities.

"Pacific Partnership in Indonesia brought together the very best military, humanitarian, governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations that our countries and the international community as a whole have to offer," Morgan said. "I couldn't be more proud."

Working together as an integrated team and at the invitation of the Indonesian government, Indonesia military and civil service personnel worked alongside the partner nations of Australia, Canada, France, Malaysia, and the United States; the NGOs of Global Grins, Hope World Wide, Johns Hopkins University Medicine, Latter Day Saints Charities, Project Handclasp, Project Hope, Univ. of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society, University of Hawaii Schools of Engineering and Nursing, and World Vets; and, Joint and Interagency teams from the United States Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, Departments of State, Justice, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Approximately 70 professional civilian mariners also ensured the safety and navigation of the USNS Mercy.

The remaining Pacific Partnership 2012 mission ports include the Philippines, Vietnam and 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.

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