US Navy sailors and personnel embarked aboard expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) for exercise Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) departed Guam on March 19 en route to Yap, Federated States of Micronesia, which will be the first mission stop for USNS Brunswick.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is a major annual multilateral 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 provides opportunities to better prepare and respond to a disaster and improve relationships in communities. I am confident we will make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people across Micronesia and Southeast Asia. Now more than ever, it is critical to foster these partnerships to be better prepared to work together in the future,” said Capt. Peter Olive, Pacific Partnership 2018 deputy mission commander.
USNS Fall River was scheduled to serve as the secondary mission platform for the 2018 Pacific Partnership but had to be replaced by sister ship USNS Brunswick for maintenance reasons. Both ships belong to the Spearhead class of expeditionary fast transports capable of transporting 600 short tons and reaching austere and deteriorated piers thanks to a 15-foot shallow draft and ability to interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities.
Brunswick and hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) will visit different Indo-Pacific nations during the course of PP18. Participants and host nation counterparts will conduct technical expertise exchanges in medical, engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Additionally, key leader and community engagement events will allow for direct engagement with local citizens and enhanced relationships with partner nation military and government leadership.
Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 US and allied military personnel along with non-government organizations, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.