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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid