Representatives of the U.S. Navy and other Pacific Partnership nations gathered in Singapore February 22-26 for a planning conference in preparations for the 2016-mission.
Now in its 11th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
This year’s mission will be led by Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, embarked on the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), and will include more than 600 military and civilian personnel from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Captain Tom Williams, commodore of Commander, DESRON 23, said: “This conference provides us an opportunity to plan with our partners and allies and build critical relationships for the upcoming mission.”
Born out of the devastation wrought by the 2004 tsunami that swept through parts of Southeast Asia, Pacific Partnership began as a military-led humanitarian response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters.
The mission has evolved over the years from primarily a direct care mission, to a mission focused on enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges. Pacific Partnership also capitalizes on multilateral cooperation and partnerships between government and non-government organizations to increase capabilities in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) and preparedness for natural and man-made disasters.
Pacific Partnership 2016 will include mission stops in five partner nations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. Navy said that partner nations would be announced before the mission begins in June.