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Information Systems Technicians Keep Pacific Partnership Connected

05 June 2012

From Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephen M. Votaw

Pacific Partnership 2012’s Automated Data Processing Division aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy works day and night keeping the mission connected.

PACIFIC OCEAN (May 19, 2012) - Pacific Partnership 2012’s (PP12) Automated Data Processing (ADP) Division aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) works day and night keeping the mission connected.

A team of information technology specialists maintain the intricate network of computers, printers and scanners up and running, which are essential to this year’s mission.

“When I checked aboard Mercy, the ship was in a Reserved Operating Status (ROS),” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Sean Forbes. “We only had to manage about 60 accounts, but when the ship moved from ROS to Full Operating Status (FOS) that number went from 60 to almost 1000. Imagine going from a small office building to an entire city of computers, it was crazy.”

The ADP division aboard Mercy receives between 25-35 job orders everyday for downed printers or computers while simultaneously managing both military and civilian networks, as well as monitoring accounts for everyone aboard.

“It is a very busy job,” said Spc. Jordan Wann, from Vancouver, Wash. “We are constantly working to maintain the ship’s computers so everyone can keep doing their jobs.”

Wann is one of several information service technicians aboard who have never before worked or been out on a Navy ship at sea.

“The job is the same, but the lifestyle is very different,” said Wann. “Getting used to working with other branches as well as civilians was a challenge at first, but now I think we have all melded together and are all flowing in the same direction.”

Pacific Partnership is a mission to strengthening international relationships with host and partner nations, in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

“I have always wanted to take part in this mission,” said Conrad. “Just knowing that the roles we are playing will help touch thousands of lives is such an amazing feeling. It’s a story I will be telling my kids about for the rest of my life.”

Now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is an annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance mission designed to work by, with and through host and partner nations, non-government organizations and international agencies to build partnerships and a collective ability to respond to natural disasters.

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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