Pacific Partnership 2018 Conducts Search and Rescue Exercise in Malaysia

Multinational forces assigned to Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) work together with Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and Malaysian medical personnel during a PP18 maritime search and rescue exercise in Tawau, May 2.

The exercise, which was the final part of a three-day event working with MAF, simulated responding to an overturned ferry and demonstrated unified partnership with PP18 and host nation personnel.

Included in the exercise were MAF rescue boats and a helicopter responding to casualties in the water and bringing them pierside. The casualties were then transported into a field hospital and treated accordingly.

“The point was to efficiently retrieve the casualties and provide them with first responder medical care until they can be transported to the local hospital so they can receive higher care,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Monet Bankston, a civil affairs non-commissioned officer assigned to PP18.

“The exercise went very successfully,” said Bankston. “I was very impressed with the professionalism, the knowledge, and the amount of team players the Malaysian Armed Forces had here.”

PP18 forces that participated in the exercise included servicemembers from the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity for a U.K. person to come along and be a part of Pacific Partnership. Not many have the chance,” said Royal Navy Petty Officer David Nicholl, a medical assistant assigned to PP18.

“It’s really cool teaching first aid and then see what you taught being used in exercise,” Nicholl added. “It makes you leave feeling like something has been done here.”

Tawau, Malaysia, is the third PP18 mission stop for Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6).

Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-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.

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