US Navy hospital ship deploys for Pacific mission

United States Navy Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy departed its home port in San Diego on February 23 in support of the 13th Pacific Partnership mission, the United States Department of Defense said.

Throughout the 13th Pacific Partnership, ending June 2018, Mercy will visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam to provide medical, dental, veterinary, public health services, engineering and disaster response to host countries who have invited the ship to visit and provide services to the local population.

“Pacific Partnership is the Navy’s humanitarian and civic assistance mission conducted with and through partner nations, nongovernmental organizations and other U.S. and international government agencies to execute a variety of humanitarian civic action missions in the Pacific Fleet area of responsibility,” the US government said.

Aside from US military personnel, more than 800 military and civilian personnel from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Peru Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom will join allied and partner nations for the mission.

“This dynamic mission enables many nations and subject matter experts to come together to pursue solutions to complex problems while enhancing preparations for disaster emergencies that reduce the severity of their impact. The foundation of trust created through Pacific Partnership engagement helps foster a cooperative environment that encourages collaborative approaches to improving the lives and conditions for the people of this region and beyond,” said Navy Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, the commander of Task Force 73, the executive agent for Pacific Partnership 18.