USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4), a U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship, arrived in Dili, Timor-Leste as part of Pacific Partnership 2019, April 22.
This will be the seventh time that Timor-Leste has hosted Pacific Partnership since the inaugural mission in 2006. It 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.
“Pacific Partnership is a mission of cooperation that strengthens national capacities and preparedness for response to disaster emergencies,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Randy Van Rossum, Pacific Partnership 2019 mission commander. “We work together, share knowledge, and implement lessons learned. Preparing side-by-side today enables effective response in the future.”
The mission in Timor-Leste incorporates knowledge exchanges that include engineering civic-action projects, humanitarian assistance-disaster relief drills, medical and dental readiness in addition to outreach events and band performances.
“The United States government is proud to showcase the USNS Fall River and the hardworking military and civilian professionals participating in Pacific Partnership 2019,” said U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick. “The United States and Timor-Leste enjoy a robust military relationship which includes a wide range of trainings, visits, and annual exercises, as well as ongoing skills exchange and construction projects conducted by our U.S. Navy Seabees in collaboration with engineers from the Timor-Leste Defense Force.”
Working at the invitation of each host nation, Pacific Partnership brings together military and civilian partner nation personnel from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
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.
MC1 Nathan Carpenter, PP19