USNS Mercy departs Sri Lanka as Pacific Partnership continues
TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka - Sailors participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) departed Trincomalee aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) May 9, bound for the mission’s fourth mission stop in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
“We've continued to build upon the partnerships we forged during prior Pacific Partnerships,” said Capt. David Bretz, PP18 mission commander. “The teamwork I saw between the Sri Lankans and all of our partner nations gives me great confidence that as we leave here we are all better prepared to respond to potential disasters.”
While in port, Sailors from the engineering department collaborated in the construction and opening of the new emergency room at Kappalthurel Medical Center, in the construction of new toilet blocks in the Chinabay Medical Center and the Vyravar Kovilady Pre-school. They also participated in to subject matter information exchange conferences about the use of different water resources in the area and different infrastructure design and construction.
U.S. Sailors in other departments participated in several community relation events such as concerts by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band and interacting with the local children at schools.
The medical department participated in a total of 13 cooperative health emergency scenarios and 26 different medical information exchange discussions.
During PP18, Mercy and Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) will conduct visits to different Asia-Pacific nations, increasing the reach and scope of PP18 participants and host nation counterparts to conduct technical expertise exchanges in medical, engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Additionally, key leader and community engagement events will allow for direct engagement with local citizens and enhanced relationships with partner nation military and government leadership.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. PP18’s objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.
Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 500 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.