Australian Defence Force medical specialists have embarked on a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ship, JDS Kunisaki, as part of Pacific Partnership 2014.
During the multi-national program, five ADF medical staff and four support personnel will work with regional partners and agencies to run clinics, health workshops and provide medical training and assistance in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.
The Commander of the Australian contingent, Lieutenant Colonel John Cronin, said this year’s mission will be unique in that it will mark the first time the primary mission platform will be commanded from a non-US Navy asset.
“Japan is a close friend of Australia and we are delighted to be joining them for what will be an important humanitarian mission,” Lieutenant Colonel Cronin said.
“We are looking forward to learning from each other both professionally and culturally…that’s what Pacific Partnership is all about.”
JDS Kunisaki is scheduled to depart Japan on May 29, bound for the ports of Danang in Vietnam from June 6 to 15, Sihanoukville in Cambodia from June 19 to 28, and Tacloban in the Philippines from July 4 to 14.
“Pacific Partnership forms bonds between nations and organisations who share a common interest in maintaining a stable and secure Pacific region,” Lieutenant Colonel Cronin said.
“We are doing that by ensuring we are properly prepared to support emergency relief efforts.”
Press Release, May 28, 2014, Image: Wikimedia