PP12 Concludes Visit to Vinh, Vietnam

Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) concluded its visit to Vinh, Vietnam July 24.

Aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), the PP12 team of more than 1,200 crew spent 14 days by the invitation of Vietnam to take part in a multitude of events.

While in Vietnam PP12 providers conducted more than 12,000 medical treatments; performed 207 surgeries; conducted nearly 4,000 treatments on 1,600 livestock and domestic animals; and completed renovations and a new building for two health clinics.

This particular mission had excellent collaboration with the Vietnamese – local government, national government, health care professionals, and our planning teams,” said Capt. Timothy Hinman, commanding officer of Mercy’s medical treatment facility.

“We truly learned from each other and had a professional exchange, each coming away better for the experience.”

In addition to saying goodbye to Vietnam, PP12 bid farewell to their Japanese counterparts as Mercy and the Japanese Self Defense Ship Oosumi (LST 4001) sailed separate ways.

The mission’s operations officer, Lt. Cmdr. William Blodgett, worked closely during the initial planning of the mission and each day during mission execution.

“The JSDF sailors are very professional, with a distinct culture and strong work ethic,” said Blodgett. “There was good camaraderie, and we had a lot of fun working together on the mission. They will be missed; however we look forward to working with them again soon.”

Oosumi and its crew joined PP12 for the two mission ports of the Philippines and Vietnam, bringing health care providers to the medical and dental sights and participating in cultural exchanges with youth and adults in Vinh.

The PP12 multinational, multi-organizational crew of host and partner nations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worked in the fields of medical and dental, veterinarian, civil engineering and conducted community service projects and subject matter expert exchanges.

“I would like to thank government of Vietnam, but also the local citizens for the incredible support they provided,” said Morgan. “Without the help and local knowledge we would not have been able to accomplish so much.”

Through active engagement with host nation officials and militaries, subject matter expert exchanges, civil action projects and medical exchanges, the mission will continue to build the regional partnerships and a collective ability to respond to natural disasters.

“What the last two weeks has reinforced with me is that the benefit of shared experiences that reinforce and build the trust and confidence that is necessary for responding together in times of adversity and human suffering,” said Morgan during a speech to the local citizens at Hung Lam Primary School, where PP12 held its closing ceremony

PP12 is now headed to Sihanoukville, Cambodia, for its fourth and final mission port.

Sponsored by the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet and now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual humanitarian civic assistance mission in the Asia-Pacific region.

Naval Today Staff, July 26, 2012