Pacific Partnership 2017 reaches Malaysia

Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, left, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet; Lt. Gen. Dato' Fazil Bin Mukhtar, commander of Malaysia's Joint Forces Command; and Capt. Stansfield Chien, mission commander for Pacific Partnership 2017, pause for a photo in front of the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River. Photo: Royal Malaysian Navy

The U.S.-led humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission Pacific Partnership 2017 has arrived in Malaysia.

Embarked aboard Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4), servicemen arrived in Port Klang on April 8.

The arrival marks Malaysia’s 12th year as a participant in Pacific Partnership, as well as its second year as a host nation, after making its debut as a Pacific Partnership mission stop in 2016.

As the second mission stop of Pacific Partnership 2017, activities in Malaysia will include humanitarian aid and disaster response preparedness exercises, medical exchanges, civil engineering projects and community engagement events.

According to U.S. Army Maj. John Burns, Pacific Partnership 2017’s officer in charge for Malaysia, this year’s visit to Malaysia will not only provide an opportunity to build on the success of last year’s mission, but will also provide unique challenges in comparison to other mission stops.

“The mission in Malaysia this year is unique because of its complexity,” said Burns. “Our forces will be operating in both Peninsular Malaysia and in Sarawak State on the Island of Borneo. The planning and execution we’re working through together with the Malaysian Armed Forces has been challenging, but is strengthening our two nations’ ability to operate together in a complex environment.”

During the mission, U.S., Australian, Japanese and Malaysian service members will work alongside one another in their respective fields.

Now in its 12th year, Pacific Partnership continues as the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific and aims to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for manmade and natural disasters.

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