Pacific Partnership 2010 Departs Tobelo and Morotai
TOBELO, Indonesia - Pacific Partnership 2010 departed Tobelo and Morotai July 17 concluding four days of operations alongside the people of Indonesia after delivering a variety of humanitarian and civic assistance programs ashore and surgical treatment aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).
Several distinguished visitors were present to show their support for Pacific Partnership 2010, including the Bupati of the Tobelo Regency, Ir. Hain Namotemo, and the Vice of Committee, Dr. Andus Said Bajak. Commander of Pacific Partnership 2010 Capt. Lisa M. Franchetti gave remarks during the closing ceremony, expressing her thoughts of operations in Tobelo.
“It is hard for me to believe we met here just four days ago, in the same place to open Pacific Partnership 2010 in Indonesia,” said Franchetti.
Tobelo, Indonesia, hosted the opening ceremony for Pacific Partnership 2010 participants just days before. Mercy will be in Indonesia’s North Maluku and Maluku Provinces through August 4, conducting disaster response fleet exercises in coordination with the local governments.
“Since then [July 14] many people, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers, volunteers, patients, visitors, and a tremendous amount of medical supplies and medicines have crossed the pier in Tobelo, or passed through the sky on our helicopters, taking their spot in the history of Pacific Partnership 10,” Franchetti said.
During the disaster relief exercise, Pacific Partnership 2010 treated approximately 5,700 medical patients ashore, issued 3,900 pairs of glasses, performed more than 50 surgeries and treated more than 150 patients aboard the hospital ship, provided veterinary care for 450 animals, conducted subject matter expert exchanges, and made $200,000 dollars worth of repairs to medical equipment.
The Bupati of the Tobelo Regency, Ir. Hein Namotemo, shared his gratitude on behalf of the people of Tobelo for Pacific Partnership 2010’s partnership with them during that past several days.
“As the head of this region, I would like to say thank you to everybody for all the support, good coordination, and everything that you gave for this mission,” said Namotemo. “I hope this friendship will bring a good memory for each one of us here. This experience gives us a new dimension to our future.”
While medical civic action programs throughout the region offered a wide variety of medical care for local Indonesians, the events were equally beneficial for Pacific Partnership 2010 medical professionals according to Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kahlil Weaver, an optician assigned to Mercy.
“It feels great to actually make a difference in someone’s life by providing medical care and then receiving that gratifying smile from them,” said Weaver. “I believe this is one of the best things we as Americans, partner nations, and all PP10 participants aboard Mercy have the opportunity to do. Sharing hope is a wonderful thing and that is what I believe we are doing as a whole.”
Community service (COMSERV) projects included a visit to Rumah Sejahtera Orphanage, a soccer game with local Indonesian citizens, and a 5 km walk/run with North Halmahera Regency civil servants. The COMSERVs brought participants together to enrich partnerships in ways professional operations perhaps do not.
“It has been a lifelong desire of mine to visit and serve at an orphanage,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kerry Climo, deputy director of Naval Medicine, New Zealand Defence Force. “The COMSERV was rewarding for me because play is a universal language that is spoken by all people, young and old. There’s no need to exchange words, we all seemed to completely understand each other while playing.”
Climo explained how COMSERVs further improve the quality of partnerships.
“These events enrich the quality of partnerships. Working alongside each other is the key to success on a mission such as PP10. All boundaries disappear as soon as you realize that this is not about you&ellips;it is about the children you are serving.”
Having completed medical, dental, surgical, engineering, and community service events in Tobelo and Morotai, the hospital ship will transit to Ternate, and conduct operations in Ternate,Tidore, Jailolo, Sofifi, and Mare Island.
Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet endeavors conducted in Indonesia as a disaster relief exercise aimed at strengthening regional relationships with host and partner nations in Southeast Asia and Oceania.