News / Asia

US Navy Prepares Sixth Pacific Partnership Mission

The U.S. Navy will launch its sixth annual humanitarian assistance mission in the Pacific later this month, helping countries in the area prepare for the next natural disaster.

The USS Cleveland was designed to transport Marines and deliver them to a war zone. But for five months starting March 21, the Cleveland will lead Pacific Partnership, the Navy’s annual training and humanitarian assistance mission.

The Cleveland, along with other ships from the U.S., Australian, New Zealand and Japanese navies will visit countries to train local forces in disaster relief. They also will work with local and international relief organizations to make emergency response plans and provide medical care and construction aid to local communities. A helicopter crew from France and teams from Canada, Singapore and Spain also will participate.

The mission will visit mostly small island nations this year -- Tonga, Vanuatu, Timor-Leste, and the Federated States of Micronesia. It will also make a stop in Papua-New Guinea.

"No one can predict the time or the place of any of these natural disasters that may occur in the region. So whether it’s in Tonga or whether it’s in Vanuatu, we need to have a very good feel for, in all the particular countries that we may have to respond to, what does the disaster preparedness structure and organization look like in that country," said Navy Captain Jesse Wilson, the commander of the mission.

Captain Wilson says the ships and their crews, and civilian relief organizations that will work with them, also will help with current projects in the host countries, such as building or renovating clinics, schools and water treatment facilities. The Cleveland is not a hospital ship, but it does have a modern clinic on board, and will dispatch doctors and nurses to treat local people, perform dental checkups and provide eyeglasses.

The captain says even as the Navy is supporting ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting pirates off the coast of Africa and conducting dozens of other security deployments around the world, its leaders still believe it is important to conduct missions like this one.

"There is a spectrum of warfare. There is high-end, which relates to the two wars we are currently fighting, and then there’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. We don’t stop doing any of our missions and we don’t stop preparing or training to do any mission that falls within the range of the things we may be tasked to do. So as far as a resource standpoint, our leadership is committed to continue to fund our training and readiness for something that we consider a very important part of our mission," Wilson said.

Pacific Partnership was in part inspired by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 in order to ensure the United States and other donors are better coordinated with countries in the region to respond to future disasters. The past five missions have served 300,000 patients in 13 countries and participated in 130 engineering projects. Captain Wilson says planning is already under way for another mission next year.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More