YAP, Micronesia, March 21, 2018 — Pacific Partnership 2018, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission, began today aboard the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick in Yap, Micronesia.
Combined forces aboard the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick man the rails as the ship arrives in Colonia, Micronesia, for the first stop of Pacific Partnership 2018, March 20, 2018.
“We are excited to be working with our friends in Yap and throughout the greater southern region during Brunswick’s first visit,” said Navy Capt. Peter Olive, the deputy mission commander for Pacific Partnership 2018. “Our time in Yap is about building relationships and the capability and capacity to work together for the future.”
Pacific Partnership, in its 13th iteration, began as a humanitarian response to the 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia. By building on the region’s shared goal to strengthen national capacities and preparedness for disaster response, 22 partner nations around the globe in 18 host nations in the region have participated since 2006.
The USS Brunswick is one of three expeditionary fast transport ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to continue its mission of providing rapid intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment. Specially configured for humanitarian and disaster relief operations, the Brunswick is currently capable of accommodating a robust multi-specialized team of medical, engineering and civic assistance personnel to support the Pacific Partnership mission.
More than 800 military personnel aboard the USS Brunswick and the hospital ship USNS Mercy, along with host nation civilians and nongovernment organization participants will support this year’s Pacific Partnership mission in Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Micronesia.
“We are committed to the U.S. and to the friends of the U.S.,” said Micronesian President Peter M. Christian. “I want to thank the U.S. government for the treaty of 1989, which confirms that small we may be, we are important.”
History of Friendship
The U.S. and Micronesia continue a long history of friendship, having participated in the Pacific Partnership mission as host nation for five years with many Micronesian men and women having served or currently serving in the U.S. armed forces.
“The U.S. is committed to [Micronesia],” said Robert A. Reilly, U.S. ambassador to Micronesia. “There is no sunset to the dedication of the protection of [Micronesia] for a free and open Pacific.”
Pacific Partnership continues to focus on developing sustainable projects on a range of topics including clean water practices, preventative health, maintenance of fisheries, methods of recycling, combined animal/public health campaigns and alternative energy initiatives enabling critical infrastructure development across the region.
Since 2006, the Pacific Partnership mission has provided medical care to more than 300,000 patients and veterinary services to nearly 40,000 animals and competed nearly 200 engineering projects while building meaningful and close partnerships throughout the region.