Representatives from the local government of the Phu Yen Province pose for a group photo with Pacific Partnership 2019 leadership during the opening ceremony at the Hall of the Provincial Labor Union, May 6. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Tyrell K. Morris)

TUY HOA, Vietnam - Senior mission leadership, host nation and partner nation personnel attended the opening ceremony of the sixth Pacific Partnership mission stop in Tuy Hoa on May 6.

U.S., partner nation military members, and non-governmental organization volunteers are scheduled to take part in a variety of events including first-aid and preventive medicine knowledge exchanges, various healthcare symposiums, engineering projects, disaster response seminars, and a variety of community outreach engagements with the goal of improving the overall humanitarian and disaster preparedness in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Through Pacific Partnership and other efforts, the United States aims to support Vietnam’s goals and objectives while building interoperability with our regional partners and allies to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said U.S. Consul General Mary Tarnowka. “As an Indo-Pacific country, the United States envisions a regional order where all nations – large and small – are strong, independent, and free from coercion.”

Pacific Partnership began in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami, that devastated parts of South and Southeast Asia. The mission has evolved over the years from emphasis on direct care to an operation focused on enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges.

Working at the invitation of each host nation, Pacific Partnership is joined by partner nations that include Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom to strengthen disaster response preparedness around the Indo-Pacific region.

Vietnam is one of several host nations for Pacific Partnership 2019. Mission teams have also made stops in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, the Federated States of Micronesia, Malaysia, and Timor-Leste, and will conclude with a stop in Thailand. Experts in the fields of engineering, medicine and disaster response will partner with each host nation to conduct civic-action projects, community health exchanges, medical symposiums, and disaster response exercises.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th 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 stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific.

See more Pacific Partnership images and news on the mission's DVIDS feature page.