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Nations Gather in Singapore to Plan Pacific Partnership 17

By Lt. j.g. Emily Wilkin | | Nov. 10, 2016

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Pacific partnership staff and partner nation representatives met in Singapore, Nov. 8-10, for a planning conference to finalize details for the upcoming mission, slated for the spring of 2017.

In its 12th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. This year's mission will be led by Deputy Commander, Riverine Group (CRG) 1, embarked on the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4), and will include more than 200 military and civilian personnel from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Chile, Singapore and South Korea.

"This planning conference affords us the opportunity to build relationships with our partner nations that are critical to our success with the upcoming mission," said Capt. Stan Chien, deputy commodore of CRG-1 and Pacific Partnership mission commander. "Pacific Partnership allows us to establish, in some cases, and further develop, in other cases, multilateral cooperation with allied and partner nations. We look forward to continuing to work with them during the coming months."

Created in response to the devastation wrought by the 2004 tsunami that swept through parts of Southeast Asia, Pacific Partnership began as a military-led humanitarian response to one of the world's most catastrophic natural disasters.

The mission has evolved over the years from primarily a direct care mission to an operation focused on enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges. Pacific Partnership also capitalizes on multilateral cooperation and partnerships between government and non-government organizations to increase capabilities in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) and preparedness for natural and man-made disasters.

"It has been an extremely positive experience collaborating and planning with our partner nations," said Army Capt. John Burns, country lead for the mission in Malaysia. "By once again participating in Pacific Partnership we are demonstrating our commitment and continued presence in this region."

Pacific Partnership 2017 will include mission stops in four partner nations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The partner nations will be announced before the mission begins in March.