By MC2 Kelsey L. Adams, Pacific Partnership
PACIFIC OCEAN – Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18), March 10.
PP18 is scheduled to have more than 800 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.
The Mercy and an expeditionary fast transport ship will serve as the mission platforms led by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31 (DESRON 31). The 2018 mission spans from February 23 through June 2018. Mercy is scheduled to make mission stops in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Mission personnel on the expeditionary fast transport ship are scheduled to make separate mission stops in Yap, Palau, Borneo-Malaysia, and Thailand.
Pacific Partnership began in response to the December 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia. Along with other nations, the United States deployed U.S. Navy assets, including Mercy, which later returned to the region in 2006 for the first Pacific Partnership mission.
Mercy, along with an expeditionary fast transport ship are participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18), the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. PP18’s objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.
Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of US and partner nation military and civilian personnel working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.
Mercy, homeported in San Diego, California is 894 feet long and is outfitted to provide mobile acute and surgical medical services in disaster or humanitarian relief efforts. Hospital capabilities include a wide range of life-saving surgical procedures and blood bank services to diagnostic x-ray or laboratory services. The team of medical professionals include doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff who provide the full spectrum of care in surgical specialties, internal medicine, radiology, dental prosthetics and eye health among many others.