Micronesia: Final Phase of Pacific Partnership 2011 Comes to End

The fifth and final phase of Pacific Partnership 2011 (PP11) has come to an end with the departure of the PP11 team from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

The flagship for the mission, USS Cleveland, arrived in the FSM on 3 July with representatives from the Australian, Canadian, Malaysian, Spanish and United States militaries, as well as members of the non-government organisations World Vets and Project HOPE onboard.

Medical officers from the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) also provided support at multiple medical civic action projects in the FSM.

The PP11 team engaged in medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, and community service civic action projects in all four states of the FSM – Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap, with more than 6,200 Micronesians receiving treatment at the medical sites.

Sponsored by the US Pacific Fleet, PP11 is aimed at improving quality of life for the residents of the FSM and all host nations while enhancing interoperability between host and partner nations’ militaries and non-governmental organisations.

The Federated States of Micronesia has been a Pacific Partnership mission port three times since the mission began in 2006, but this is the first time that the team has completed projects in all four states of the FSM.

In addition to seeing 6,207 medical and dental patients, the medical contingent filled 5,820 prescriptions, gave out 4,229 pairs of glasses, and cared for 244 animals at 11 medical, dental and veterinary civic action projects.

The medical team also participated in multiple subject-matter exchanges with local nurses and doctors, sharing medical expertise and experiences that will improve the quality of healthcare throughout FSM.

“We were able to deploy our very diverse group of medical experts to every state in the country to maximize our efforts in providing aid to the people,” said Cmdr. Michael Smith USN, director of medical operations for Pacific Partnership.

“In this way, we are able to maximize our efforts to work with FSM and provide sustainable solutions to their health care needs.”

The engineering team, comprised of US Navy Seabees and Australian Sappers, completed six engineering projects including four major renovations of school facilities.

Pacific Partnership has now completed its mission after providing services in in Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste in addition to the FSM.

The 36 Australians onboard the USS Cleveland will return to Hawaii with the ship before flying home to their various home units around the country.

“It will be an emotional farewell when we part ways. The team has worked closely together, developed personal and professional friendships, and experienced one heck of an adventure,” said CMDR Ashley Papp, ADF contingent commander.

“The FSM was the final country in a rewarding deployment, working with our friends, and learning as much about ourselves as we have our colleagues and neighbours.”

Source: navy, July 21, 2011;