U.S. Pacific Fleet’s humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) mission, known as Pacific Partnership, deployed aboard U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) May 3, 2012, for a four-month deployment to the host nations of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Mercy was originally scheduled to deploy May 1, 2012. The ship’s underway was delayed due to a mechanical issue in the ship’s forward propulsion.
Mercy is the lead U.S. vessel and deployed with a joint, combined team of U.S. military and interagency personnel, representing the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps; U.S. Department’s of State and Justice, the Agency for International Development, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
Japanese landing ship tank Oosumi (LST 4001), carrying a complete medical team, helicopters and representatives from Japanese volunteer organizations will join Mercy during its stops in the Philippines and Vietnam. Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will also deploy teams of personnel as partner nations supporting the mission.
NGOs and international agencies are a critical part of the continuity that maintains and builds capacity with local populations. This year, NGOs participating include the East-West Center, Global Grins, Hope Worldwide, LDS Charities, Oceanit, Project Handclasp, Project Hope, U.C.-San Diego Pre-Dental Society, University of Hawaii, Vietnam Medical Assistance Program, and World Vets, along with numerous in-country organizations.
Naval Today News Staff, May 7, 2012; Image: Navy