– Project HOPE will join Pacific Partnership in the countries of Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia during the 2012 mission.
A non-governmental organization that
provides doctors and nurses for ship-based humanitarian civic
assistance, Project HOPE has participated in Pacific Partnership
since its inaugural mission in 2006, when it was a training mission
resulting from the 2004 earthquakes that caused the great Indian
Ocean basin tsunami.
The program is designed to demonstrate America's compassion and
goodwill by deploying American professional health care volunteers
to assist host nation health needs.
Volunteers from Project HOPE will be integrated into the various
medical and public affairs departments aboard Military Sealift
Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), this host ship for PP12.
"This will be my first mission with Project HOPE," said Kelly
Scatton, a volunteer Intensive Care nurse for Project Hope. "So far
everyone has been very supportive. They have really tried to teach
me the terminology and integrate me into the department and make me
one of the team."
At the peak of the mission, 38 doctors and nurses are expected to
participate, with others joining for specific ports during the
"I'm excited to participate," said Scatton. "I am curious to see
what the availability of medicine is for these people, and what we
can do to help. I also hope to be able to pass on some of my
knowledge to local nurses to help establish a system for them."
The joint mission on board USNS Mercy includes service members from
the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines as well as civilian mariners,
non-governmental organization civilians and foreign military partner
"I think because this is a joint military and civilian mission,
everyone has done there best to integrate everyone into a cohesive
group as soon as possible," said Scatton. "I think everyone has
embraced the fact that this isn't just a Navy mission, an Army
mission or a military mission; but a mission for everyone to work
together for the good of those we are helping."
Now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is an annual U.S.
Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance mission designed to
work by, with and through host and partner nations, non-government
organizations and international agencies to build partnerships and a
collective ability to respond to natural disasters.