Australian Defence Force Personnel Praised for Their Commitment to PP12

Australian Defence Force Personnel Praised for Their Commitment to PP12

Australian Defence Force personnel have been praised for their ongoing commitment to disaster response and humanitarian civic assistance in the Asia-Pacific region as the first ADF medical contingent rotates home from Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12).

PP12 Mission Commander Captain Jim Morgan (US Navy) said Australia has been a great partner since the inception of Pacific Partnership in 2006, because they continue to support the mission year after year.

“The Australians bring one of the largest partner nation contingents and they are with us throughout the mission each year,” Captain Morgan said.

“So they don’t only provide us with continuity of the mission, they also bring their experience, leadership and capacity.

“Our ability to work together for so long also makes things so much easier because we’re not new to the planning process or working together, and we’re certainly not new to the mission execution process.”

Based this year aboard the massive US Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy, Pacific Partnership is a 1000-strong helping-hand force of regional military and civilian volunteers bringing free medical, surgical, dental, veterinary and engineering civic aid projects to thousands of people in south-east Asia and the south-west Pacific in alternating years.

Created following the Indian Ocean Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, Pacific Partnership also involves disaster response training exercises with the host nations to help build a regional disaster response capability to any future large-scale disaster.

Pacific Partnership has now completed two weeks in both Indonesia’s North Sulawesi Province and Samar in the Philippines, and will next visit Vinh in Vietnam, and Sihanoukville in Cambodia.

While 24 ADF personnel, mostly medical specialists, have now returned to Australia, a second contingent has joined the remaining 17 Australians on the Mercy in Subic Bay and will continue their work over the coming weeks.

Naval Today Staff, July 6, 2012; Image: Australian MoD