Pacific Partnership 2019 kicks off

The annual disaster response preparedness exercise Pacific Partnership began March 4 as US Military Sealift Command (MSC) expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) got underway from Naval Base Guam to start the mission in Indo-Pacific.

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual, multilateral disaster response preparedness mission conducted in the region.

This year’s mission will be led by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 1, embarked in the expeditionary fast transport ships USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) and USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4).

It will include more than 500 military and civilian personnel from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Pacific Partnership is about building trust and sharing knowledge,” said Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander, Task Force 73, the executive agent for Pacific Partnership 2019. “This mission shows that the US, our partners and hosts are working together to making this region better prepared for disaster response.”

Pacific Partnership 2019 will have several distinctions from previous iterations:

This year’s mission will be conducted from aboard two expeditionary fast transport ships, which provide rapid intra-theater transport and have the capability to conduct relief operations in small or damaged ports.

This year’s planning and activities reflect the region’s interest in building Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief capability and strengthening resilience.

This is the second year a multinational command-and-control structure will be used, consisting of a director of mission from the United Kingdom and mission chief staff officer from Australia.

Photo: USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) departs Naval Base Guam, passing the MSC expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) and marking the start of Pacific Partnership 2019. Photo: US Navy