Pacific Partnership 2022: US Navy Hospital Ship Arrives in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of several host nations for Pacific Partnership 2022
June 20, 2022 | 06:39
USNS Mercy arrives at Vung Ro Port on June 19. Source: VNA
USNS Mercy arrives at Vung Ro Port on June 19. Source: VNA

The US Military Sealift Command hospital ship, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) with nearly 1,000 beds, arrived at Vung Ro Port of the central province of Phu Yen, marking the first stop for Pacific Partnership 2022 (PP22).

Pacific Partnership began in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami, that devastated parts of South and Southeast Asia. The mission has evolved over the years from emphasis on direct care to enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges.

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region, and is a joint effort between the host nation

Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific.
Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Source: SGGP

In Vietnam, the Pacific Partnership 22 team, comprised of representatives from Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will work together with their Vietnamese counterparts on a range of activities and projects benefiting the local community in Phu Yen and the people of Vietnam.

While in Phu Yen, Pacific Partnership will provide tailored medical, dental care; construct new buildings for Lam Son Primary School, An Ninh Dong, and Phuoc Hau Primary School; and exchange expertise related to disaster response processes and procedures. Additionally, the US Pacific Fleet Band will perform alongside Vietnamese musicians during a variety of community engagements.

Pacific Partnership 2022: US Navy Hospital Ship Arrives in Vietnam
A medical expert talks about equipment in the ship. Source: SGGP

Captain Hank Kim, Commander of the PP22 mission, said the cooperation reflects solidarity and helps build up trust among countries and promote their readiness to effectively work together to respond to natural disasters or any incidents.

He expressed the willingness to share experience and expertise with Vietnamese agencies and other partner countries so as to develop and maintain skills after the mission concludes.

An opening ceremony for the PP22 mission will be held at Nghinh Phong Square in Tuy Hoa city of Phu Yen on June 20 evening.

Past missions have garnered praise from people throughout the Indo-Pacific. Pacific Partnership 2021 wrapped up in Palau with humanitarian assistance and a workshop led by Taiwan disaster management experts.

USNS Mercy, which departed San Diego at the beginning of May, is a former oil tanker turned into the largest floating hospital in the world and the eighth-largest hospital in the US.

With more than 700 surgeons and medical staff embarked, she can cope with up to 1,000 patients – including 80 in intensive care – with serious casualties and cases receiving treatment in ten operating theatres.

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