Pacific Partnership team returns home to Hawaii

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) moors alongside the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on its way back from supporting Pacific Partnership 2015. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Gabrielle Joyner

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) moors alongside the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on its way back from supporting Pacific Partnership 2015. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Gabrielle Joyner

U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

Pacific Partnership 2015 personnel stationed in Hawaii, but recently assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy (TAH 19), returned home Wednesday as the ship pulled in to Joint Base Pearl Harbor/Hickam for a liberty port call.

The 10th iteration of the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s annual humanitarian assistance/ disaster relief preparedness mission began in late May and took place in the Southeast Asia and Oceania regions.

Born out of the devastation wrought by the 2004 tsunami that swept through parts of Southeast Asia, Pacific Partnership began as a military-led humanitarian response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters. Building on that success and good will, the hospital ship USNS Mercy returned to the region in 2006 for the inaugural Pacific Partnership mission.

The mission staff expanded to include partner nation militaries and nongovernmental organizations working to increase the disaster relief capabilities in the region. Since then, Pacific Partnership has grown in scope and size.

Mercy visited Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam. Mercy provided healthcare and surgical procedures, community health engagements, engineering proj-ects, subject matter expert exchanges and community relations events in coordination with host nations, NGOs and regional partners that included Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Canada, Timor Leste and Fiji.

(For more information on Pacific Partnership, visit the official Pacific Partnership website at http:/ / www. cpf.navy.mil/ pacific-partnership/ 2015.)

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