By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs
NHA TRANG, Vietnam -- After a completing a successful two-week Pacific Partnership 2018 mission here, personnel departed June 2 aboard the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship USNS Mercy.
USNS Mercy arrives in Malaysia for Pacific Partnership
The mission in Nha Trang included personnel from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. service members assigned to the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick.
“We are very grateful to the people of Vietnam for providing us an opportunity to learn from them,” said Navy Capt. David Bretz, Pacific Partnership 2018 mission commander. “We see our differences in culture and training as something to be celebrated, as anyone would appreciate the unique qualities of a friend. This was a very productive mission for the U.S., Vietnam, Japan and all participating partner nations.”
Providing Medical Care, Engineering Expertise
During the mission in Nha Trang, the mission’s medical professionals worked alongside Vietnamese medical personnel engaging in patient care activities, community health and surgical exchanges and seminars.
Mission civil engineers built and repaired schools and medical clinic facilities alongside their Vietnamese counterparts and held workshops to discuss methods to build resilient facilities that can withstand inclement weather and tropical storms.
Additionally, subject matter experts from the mission conducted workshops highlighting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief topics including swimmer safety, urban search and rescue and a six-day beach course for lifeguard teachers. Mission personnel also set up training scenarios covering response to severe flooding and other natural disasters.
When not participating in training, mission members attended community outreach events such as concerts put on by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band at various locations, as well as sporting events, arts and crafts for children with disabilities and beach cleanup events.
The United States appreciates Vietnam’s close cooperation and support throughout Pacific Partnership 2018, said U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink.
“Having U.S. and Vietnamese personnel work together on such a broad range of events highlights that we have forged a strong and lasting comprehensive partnership -- one that benefits not just our two countries, but the entire Indo-Pacific region,” Kritenbrink added.
During Pacific Partnership 2018, USNS Mercy and USNS Brunswick conducted visits to different nations in the Indo-Pacific region, increasing the reach and scope of participants and host-nation counterparts to conduct technical expertise exchanges in medical, engineering, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, officials said.
Additionally, key leader and community engagement events provided opportunities for meaningful engagement with local citizens and enhanced relationships with partner nation military and government leadership.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is an annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region. Pacific Partnership consists of more than 800 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side by side with host-nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian assistance and disaster relief situations.