U.S. and partner nation personnel participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Port Kelang, Malaysia on April 16, 2018.
The Pacific Partnership mission in Malaysia will feature medical exchanges, civil engineering projects, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) preparedness seminars, and community outreach engagements in the greater Kuala Lumpur area. The secondary mission platform for Pacific Partnership, the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) will arrive in Tawau, Malaysia April 21 for a series of civil engineering, medical and outreach engagements with the local community and Royal Malaysian Armed Forces.
“Our Malaysian partners offer a multitude of opportunities to grow our shared capabilities in medical, civil engineering, and disaster relief preparedness,” said Capt. David Bretz, Pacific Partnership mission commander. “Pacific Partnership provides participating nations an opportunity to share past experiences, compare tactics and procedures, and to have an appreciation of what other people have done and are doing to solve regional challenges.”
Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral disaster response preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. This year’s mission includes military and civilian personnel from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Peru, and Japan.
After Malaysia, USNS Mercy will visit Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Japan strengthening alliances, partnerships, and multilateral cooperation throughout the region. USNS Brunswick will visit Thailand after engagements in Tawau, enhancing cooperation throughout Southeast Asia.
“Through Pacific Partnership we are deepening integral ties with our allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific region,” said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, commander, Task Force 73, the executive agent for Pacific Partnership 18. “The challenges we face with natural and manmade disasters do not respect borders or national sovereignty. This dynamic mission enables many nations and subject matter experts to come together to pursue solutions to complex problems while enhancing preparations for disaster emergencies that reduce the severity of their impact.
“The foundation of trust created through Pacific Partnership engagement helps foster a cooperative environment that encourages collaborative approaches to improving the lives and conditions for the people of this region and beyond.”
Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. and partner nation civil-military personnel working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian and disaster response situations.
MC1 Micah Blechner