By Navy Lt. j.g. Emily Wilkin, Pacific Partnership 2017 — (DoD News) — Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam — May 22, 2017.
Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The mission aims to enhance regional coordination in medical readiness and preparedness for manmade and natural disasters.
This is the eighth time in eleven years that this event has taken place in Vietnam. This year's events in Khanh Hoa include participation by personnel from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan. Sailors and crew from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's destroyers J.S. Izumo and J.S. Sazanami will also join mission personnel for the Khanh Hoa mission stop.
The Vietnamese government approved Khanh Hoa as a destination for Pacific Partnership, and the province collaborated with central government agencies and Pacific Partnership planners to organize the week-and-a-half event, with the aim of enhancing humanitarian aid and disaster relief and to promote the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Vietnam, as well as collaboration among partner countries.
"We are especially excited to be working with our friends in Khanh Hoa during Pacific Partnership's second visit to the province. I anticipate robust interaction working alongside our Vietnamese counterparts while conducting engineering projects at schools and clinics and medical exchanges," said Navy Capt. Stanfield Chien, Pacific Partnership '2017 mission commander.
"Our time here is about building relationships and the capability and capacity to work together in the future and join in community engagement activities," Chien added.
In a continuation of the crisis management and response activities from last year's Pacific Partnership mission, Vietnamese and mission personnel will conduct subject-matter-expertise exchanges, provide training for Nha Trang city's life guards, complete renovations of the Hoa Mi and Son Ca kindergartens, and complete the delivery and installation of solar water heaters for the medical assistance facility located near Nha Trang. Also, the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet Band will perform at Yen Sao Park as well as Thanh Nien Park, and mission personnel will have a music performance at the Phan Chu Trinh Secondary School.
"After several very productive days in Da Nang, we're glad to see Pacific Partnership 17 cooperation continue in Khanh Hoa, ," U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said. These activities will improve collective capacity and regional cooperation to respond to a disaster. Another very important part of Pacific Partnership is the high-level medical cooperation and knowledge exchange, thanks to over 60 international medical experts."
Pacific Partnership concluded a mission stop in Da Nang, Vietnam, earlier this week.
Now in its 12th year, Pacific Partnership continues to enhance regional partnerships and host-nation relationships through civil-military cooperation, medical exchanges and inter-government agency coordination.