Pacific Partnership 2016 reaches Timor-Leste

Pacific Partnership 2016 arrived in Timor-Leste June 8 for the sixth time in the past eleven years and the first mission stop for hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

While in Timor-Leste, Pacific Partnership personnel will work side-by-side with civilian leadership from the Dili community and Timor Leste Defense Forces in a disaster relief symposium, civil engineering projects, cooperative health engagements (CHE), subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and community service projects.

The medical engagements, conducted alongside local Timor-Leste medical professionals in Dili, Gleno Community and Camp Lenhoff, will include SMEEs and CHEs for surgery, dentistry, antenatal and postnatal care, women’s health, blood bank administration, biomedical repair, children’s health, nutrition, industrial hygiene, infection control and veterinary services.

In addition to the humanitarian assistance/disaster response symposium, Pacific Partnership 2016 will host a chronic disease symposium, a basic first responder course, an advanced life support skills workshop and a nursing skills workshop.

“This year’s mission will also focus on the involvement of women in disaster response efforts, applying the principles of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which addresses the role women play in conflict management and resolution, in a disaster relief context,” said Cmdr. Karen Ward, Royal New Zealand Navy, Pacific Partnership 2016 Women Peace and Security lead.

Personnel will present considerations for women and children in disasters during a disaster response symposium, and meet with the U.N. Women representative in Timor-Leste to discuss the countries national action plan for UNSCR 1325.

After Timor-Leste, Pacific Partnership will conduct mission stops at the Republic of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Pacific Partnership 2016 is focused on enhancing relationships and multinational-interoperability through knowledge exchange and cooperative training, ensuring partner nations are prepared to collectively and effectively respond when disaster strikes.

Now in its 11th year, Pacific Partnership is a joint mission among several partner nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Republic of Korea and Japan, to improve disaster preparedness and regional responsiveness to any crisis.