History

Pacific Partnership began as a humanitarian response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia. Known at the time as Operation Unified Endeavor, the U.S. government’s swift response to the needs of the region resulted in extraordinary humanitarian aid.
Building on the success and goodwill this operation created in the region, U.S. Pacific Fleet sent the hospital ship USNS Mercy back to the region in 2006. The mission staff expanded from the U.S. military to include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), partner nations, and host nations to provide support to the people of the Republic of the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, West Timor and East Timor.
In 2007, U.S. Pacific Fleet prepared another humanitarian and civic assistance deployment designed to strengthen bi-lateral relationships with other countries, which is crucial to maintaining regional security and stability. Dubbed Pacific Partnership, the operation was deployed on USS Peleliu, one of the Navy’s large deck amphibious warships specially configured for the humanitarian and civic assistance operation. Spaces that historically accommodated Marines became homes to a robust multi-specialized team of preventative medicine personnel, engineering and civic assistance personnel, and a fleet surgical team. Pacific Partnership 2007 traveled to the Republic of the Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
In 2008, NGO partnerships broadened to include local chapters of host nations’ organizations. When united with regional partners and U.S.-based volunteer groups, the combined team provided a variety of civic action programs to the Federated States of Micronesia, Papau New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. In addition, more than 90,000 patients were treated by the medical teams from USNS Mercy. Among those treated were more than 14,000 dental patients and more than 1,300 surgery patients in various locations throughout the Western Pacific.
Regional alliances and partnerships were further strengthened in 2009 as the Pacific Partnership mission visited Oceania with USNS Richard E. Byrd. The underway replenishment ship was retrofitted to carry out medical, dental, engineering, and veterinary services to the Oceanic nations of Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.
Thomas E. Weinz, U.S. State Department diplomat who served as the Foreign Service Liaison Officer (FSLO) aboard the USNS Richard E. Byrd, reported, “For me, the greatest legacy is and will remain the countless interactions among the multi-national providers and recipients of this mission. Friendships were forged that will continue over the years, and that will enhance follow-on missions by Pacific Partnership.”
The Pacific Partnership flagship returned to USNS Mercy in 2010, visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste, while USS Blue Ridge visited Palau and HMAS Tobruk visited Papua New Guinea. In addition to medical and engineering projects, more than 58,000 pairs of eyeglasses and sunglasses were distributed at medical civic action projects. The dental services provided aboard Mercy and at the clinical outreach sites provided care for 1,505 patients. A notable example of integrated medical care occurred as the audiology department identified children with treatable ear problems on shore and brought them aboard Mercy for care by the ear/nose/throat surgeon. The Biomedical Equipment Repair team also repaired 124 pieces of equipment, an estimated repair value of $5.8 million.
In addition to carrying out medical and engineering infrastructure projects, Pacific Partnership 2011 worked closely with partner nations, NGOs and host nation counterparts to develop sustainability projects on a range of topics, including methods of recycling, clean water practices, and alternative energy initiatives.
Pacific Partnership 2012 will provide healthcare assistance and environmental sustainability from aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy to the nations of Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. The true hallmark of Pacific Partnership is to ensure that host nations are equipped with sustainable programs that help them prepare for and support emergency relief efforts, as we work together toward a broader goal of maintaining a stable and secure Pacific region.

12 responses to “History

  1. Dan York

    I am a US citizen from San Diego. Currently I am working with FSM in Paliker assisting their National Government deliver Compact Infrastructure projects. I wonder if when you visit Pohnpei if tours will be available to see our marvelous USS Cleveland?

  2. I would love to be a part of this organization? Are you all hiring? Do you need help with photography? I use to live on Saipan , loved it and have a soft spot for this region of the world. Please let me know how or what I could do to be a part of this- thank you, Jenny

    • Pacific Partnership

      Ma’am, this is a U.S. Navy Captain’s blog. Our organization is hiring every day, but I can’t guarantee you’d necessarily be with a unit which would deploy with Pacific Partnership. However, there are civilians on board, who are representing Project HOPE and World Vets. They send volunteers on this deployment.

  3. thank you so much..i am one of those was treated in papua new guinea by the usns mercy eye specialists. and i would realy love to get in touch with the 2 doctor who did the operation but i forgot their names will you help me please….

  4. kevin Sun

    Who can I contact about PP12? I have questions regarding the mission.

  5. Emon

    Hi there,my name is emon i’m a nurse and live in Halamahera, i was helping with the translation when the US Mercy where in Halmahera, would like to help you guys when you are around Indonesia.
    Blessing

  6. Tommy price

    Hi! What a fantastic mission! It must be a bear to plan and bring all the different nations, agencies, NGOs, and militaries together! Great job! Your Civil Military Coordinator must be on over-drive!
    Thanks for all you do!
    Tommy Price

  7. Winston Garcia

    What are those countries that will also help in the mission besides the US, Great Britain, and Japan? :)

  8. Candace Lower

    Hi–I’m with the Peace Corps in Tonga. Will your organization be sending any ships here this year or next? I would like to find out more about your past visits here, too. Thanks.
    Candace Lower

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