Pacific Partnership 2012 Unveils New Addition to Medical Center, Cambodia

Pacific Partnership 2012 Unveils New Addition to Medical Center, Cambodia

Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) engineers unveiled a new addition to a Cambodian medical center in Sihanoukville Aug. 10.

The two-room building added to the O Chrov Medical Center will supplement medical care in the area as well as provide a place for mothers before they give birth.

“It will be a big help to the community because this type of facility didn’t exist around here,” said Rear Adm. Kate Gregory, Pacific Fleet Civil Engineer and Commander of Naval Facilities Pacific. “Sometimes people had to travel for days before giving birth to go to a facility like this which can be very dangerous for the women and the babies.”

Gregory said one of her favorite parts about being an engineer is the lasting impact the buildings can have on the community.

“The thing I like is that you get to build things and produce a product that is left behind when you go onto other missions,” she said. “Pacific Partnership really exemplifies the partnership you see when you build new buildings and when you build relationships.”

Sihanouk province deputy governor Prack Chansokha said Navy SEABEEs, Australian and Cambodian engineers worked a total of more than 30 days to accomplish the mission of building the new facility, which helped build a relationship that will last for years to come.

“I would like to say from the bottom of my heart that this is an example of the relationship between Cambodia and the U.S.,” she said. “This isn’t the last time that a project like this will happen. We hope to see them and work with them in the future.”

Gregory said the overall project was used to promote training and idea sharing.

“This building didn’t only serve as a way to enhance the medical situation in this community,” said Gregory, “but it was used to share some training and ideas and build a relationship between the Pacific Partnership engineers and the Royal Cambodian engineers and I think that more important than the building itself is the stronger relationship that exists between everyone.”

Engineering civic action projects were done throughout the PP12 mission to provide renovated and newly built medical facilities, schools and community centers at no cost to the community. These buildings are used to improve life in the area as well as build a partnership and working relationship in the case of a natural disaster.

Pacific Partnership, an annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance mission now in its seventh year, brings together U.S. military personnel, host and partner nations, non-government organizations and international agencies to build stronger relationships and develop disaster response capabilities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Naval Today Staff, August 14, 2012; Image: US Navy