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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid