Lt. Cmdr. Kerrie Adams performs a hysterectomy at a local hospital in Phnom Penh June 21 as part of Pacific Partnership.(U.S. Navy/MC2 Karolina A. Oseguera)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - U.S. Navy surgeons are performing multiple surgeries alongside Cambodian physicians at the Preah Ket Mealea Hospital in Phnom Penh as part of Pacific Partnership 2014.

“We are having a subject matter exchange interaction,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ian Fowler. “We are showing them how we do things. It is interesting to learn from them as well. It is very similar to our procedures.”

The Cambodia phase of Pacific Partnership began June 19.

Three surgeons specializing in general surgery, orthopedics and obstetrician gynecology will be at the Preah Ket Mealea Hospital for four days. They are performing surgeries such as hernia repairs, uterine prolapse procedures, hemorrhoid removal and lipoma removal.

“We have had a great exchange of information with the Cambodian doctors,” said Fowler. “They are very well trained and they want to learn what we are teaching them and I love to ask them questions.”

The purpose of this mission is to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Cambodian military physicians as well as gather an assessment of where their skill levels are for possible future interactions.

“The interaction has been very good,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Wilson, a general surgeon. “The language barrier has not been that difficult to overcome. Surgery is a universal language. Everyone knew the next step in the operation so it went very smoothly.”

Pacific Partnership is in its ninth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.