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USNS Mercy’s visit to Solomon Islands marks 2nd stop of Pacific Partnership 24-1

18 November 2023

From Grady Fontana

Pacific Partnership has returned to the Solomon Islands to continue the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region, Nov. 18.

The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in Honiara, Solomon Islands, during Pacific Partnership 2024-1, Nov. 18, 2023. Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is the largest multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific and works to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Arnoldhendershot)
The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in Honiara, Solomon Islands, during Pacific Partnership 2024-1, Nov. 18, 2023. Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is the largest multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific and works to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Arnoldhendershot)
The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in Honiara, Solomon Islands, during Pacific Partnership 2024-1, Nov. 18, 2023. Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is the largest multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific and works to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Arnoldhendershot)
231118-N-RM312-1015
The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in Honiara, Solomon Islands, during Pacific Partnership 2024-1, Nov. 18, 2023. Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is the largest multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific and works to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Arnoldhendershot)
Photo By: Seaman Apprentice Gavin Hendersh
VIRIN: 231118-N-RM312-1015


The arrival of Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) to Honiara, Solomon Islands, marks the next phase of the Pacific Partnership 24-1 (PP 24-1) mission that will enable participants, including U.S. and Solomon islanders, to work together to enhance disaster response capabilities and foster new and enduring friendships.

“The Pacific Partnership 24-1 mission in the Solomon Islands is crucial as it fosters regional collaboration, strengthens ties, and enhances disaster response capabilities between us while highlighting our mutual commitment toward peace, security and cooperation,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mark A. Melson, Commander, Task Force 73 and executive a
gent for this year’s mission. “It also provides a platform for shared knowledge and resources, between the U.S. Navy and our partners, while building resilience, capacity and interoperability in the event of an HA/DR scenario in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the invitation of host nations, the Pacific Partnership’s mission partners conduct tailored humanitarian civic action preparedness activities in areas such as engineering, disaster response, public health, and host nation outreach events.

As part of the mission stop, Pacific Partnership will provide tailored medical care focusing on surgical care, training for first responders, clinical care, subject-matter exchanges, and community education at Honiara, Gizo and Auki. Medical personnel will also provide support for the 2023 Pacific Games, in Honiara.

The PP-24-1 mission in the Pacific Games, namely, the USNS Mercy was invited by host-nation leadership as a result of the success of the previous Pacific Partnership 2022 mission stop in Honiara.

Engineering projects will include renovations at National Referral Hospital (NRH), while experts in the field shared knowledge exchanges with exercises covering HA/DR topics this past September.

Additionally, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will perform alongside Australian military musicians in a variety of community engagements.

“Pacific Partnership has an enduring relationship with the Solomon Islands that started in 2007, and being asked to come back and support the medical infrastructure of the Solomon Islands as they host the Pacific Games demonstrates that continued commitment on both sides,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Quin, mission commander, Pacific Partnership 24-1. “On behalf of my team, we look forward to deepening our partnership and cooperation the people of the Solomon Islands.”

USNS Mercy will serve as the mission platform and a combined team of civil service mariners and uniformed military members make up the crew of Mercy, which can staff up to 1,200 medical personnel.

The hospital ship has all the capabilities found in modern hospitals, such as those in the NRH, and Gizo and Kilu'ufi hospitals, where many PP 24-1 activities will take place.

The ship has 12 fully equipped operating rooms, 1,000 hospital beds, radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, optometry facilities, a CT scanner and an oxygen-producing plant.

Pacific Partnership focuses on multiple lines of effort to help build resilience and host nation capacity to support essential humanitarian services.

This year’s mission will also feature nearly 1,500 personnel from allies and partner nations including Australia, Chile, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and New Zealand.

Born out of the devastation brought by the December 2004 tsunami that swept through parts of South and Southeast Asia, Pacific Partnership began as a military-led humanitarian response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters. Building on the success and goodwill of this operation the U.S. helped spearhead the inaugural Pacific Partnership mission in 2006.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security and stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships in the Indo-Pacific.

For more information about Pacific Partnership visit www.facebook.com/pacificpartnership, www.instagram.com/pacific_partnership/ or https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/PacificPartnership. Pacific Partnership public affairs can be reached via email at cherylcollins.pp24@gmail.com.

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