Australian Contingent Leaves for Pacific Partnership 2012
Australian Defence Force Command and Medical Specialist personnel have left Australia to participate in Pacific Partnership 2012, an exercise to improve responses to natural and humanitarian emergencies in the region.
The exercise is an annual US-sponsored humanitarian assistance exercise also aims to strengthen international relationships with partner and host nations in Asia and Oceania.
Pacific Partnership 2012 will deliver medical, dental, veterinary and engineering aid to Indonesia (North Sulawesi), Philippines (Samar), Vietnam (Vinh) and Cambodia (Sihanoukville).
Commander Ken Walters from the Royal Australian Navy will lead the Australian contingent.
“Pacific Partnership represents a great opportunity for Australian personnel to work closely with our regional allies and deliver some fantastic support to our neighbours, while also practicing for any future disasters,” Commander Walters said.
“Working with partners including the United States, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and Thailand allows our personnel to enhance the capability to respond and to examine first hand how our partners operate.”
Throughout the exercise, 37 ADF personnel will be based onboard the American hospital ship USNS Mercy. Pacific Partnership has been held annually by the US Pacific Fleet since the tragic Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
“The 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami clearly demonstrates how quickly and unexpectedly natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies can arise, activities like this continue to improve the regional response capability for any future emergency,” Commander Walters said.
Naval Today Staff , May 24, 2012; Image: Australian MoD