Pacific Partnership reaches Vietnam

The US-led humanitarian assistance and disaster relief readiness exercise Pacific Partnership 2018 arrived in Vietnam as personnel aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Nha Trang on May 17.

This year’s Pacific Partnership mission in Nha Trang will be joined by personnel from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force embarked in JS Osumi (LST 4001) along with personnel from USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6), the secondary mission platform for Pacific Partnership.

The mission in Nha Trang will continue through June 2 and feature US and partner nation personnel working side-by-side with Vietnamese medical professionals, participating in civil engineering projects, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) readiness drills, and partnering in community outreach engagements.

Mercy’s visit marks the second consecutive visit by the Pacific Partnership mission to the greater Nha Trang area with a visit by USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) for last year’s mission.

“I really value the knowledge and best practices we will exchange with our Vietnamese partners in the coming days,” said Capt. David Bretz, Pacific Partnership mission commander. “Being prepared for natural disasters is crucial to the stability of this region and I look forward to all the great experiences we will have during our visit as we continue to strengthen our partnership with Vietnam.”

During Pacific Partnership 2018, mission personnel embarked on USNS Mercy and USNS Brunswick are conducting visits to nations throughout the Indo-Pacific region, enhancing strategic partnerships and increasing cooperation and readiness for manmade and natural disasters. The mission is also reaching people and impacting the lives of every day citizens at every mission stop through the various medical engagements, civil engineering projects, HA/DR seminars, and community outreach events in the local communities.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multilateral HA/DR preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Pacific Partnership’s objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.

Photo: US Navy photo of USNS Mercy ahead of the ship's arrival to Vietnam