– The Military Sealift Command’s
hospital ship, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived today in Cambodia to
begin the final mission phase of Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12).
This is the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s seventh annual Pacific Partnership
humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) mission.
Prior to arriving in Cambodia, Mercy and
her PP12 embarked personnel visited the host nations of Indonesia,
the Philippines, and Vietnam. The four-and-a-half month mission
supports strengthening regional partnerships and enhancing
coordination efforts among organizations who share a common interest
in maintaining stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Our crew of more than 1100 highly trained military, government, and
civilian/NGO personnel representing eight partner nations are
excited to be in Cambodia,” said Mission Commander, Navy Capt. James
Morgan. “Our mission here provides yet another opportunity to work
with our Cambodian counterparts in order to be better prepared to
respond together to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies,
not if but when they happen.”
“We sincerely appreciate the invitation to conduct the mission here
during what will be the second time Pacific Partnership has taken
part in activities in Cambodia,” said Morgan.
Pacific Partnership 2012 is led by three different element
commanders: Capt. James Morgan, mission commander for Pacific
Partnership 2012 and commander of the San Diego-based Destroyer
Squadron SEVEN; Capt. Jonathan Olmsted, of the Military Sealift
Command and Mercy’s civil service master; and, Navy Capt. Timothy
Hinman, commander of the medical treatment facility, which is
responsible for the hospital and providing care aboard Mercy and on
“The professional affiliation and exchanges that we’ve seen on this
mission between our host nation and Pacific Partnership providers
have been outstanding this year,” said Capt. Hinman. “It has been
truly stimulating for us and we look forward to working on the same
type of medical exchanges here in Cambodia.”
PP12 personnel will conduct tailored civic assistance projects (CAPs),
which build relationships and potential capacity and capabilities in
the areas of medical, dental, veterinary and civil engineering. It
will also conduct community service and subject matter expert
exchanges that reinforce the importance of mutual support and
learning about cultures, capabilities, and practices.
The U.S. joint military services, interagency and civilian mariner
personnel are joined this year in Cambodia by the partner nations of
Australia, Canada, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands,
Peru, and the Philippines.
NGOs and international agencies are also a critical part of the
continuity of the Pacific Partnership mission, which strives to
build capacity with local populations. This year, NGOs participating
in Cambodia include Cambodian Children’s Painting Project, Global
Grins, Help for Orphans, Hope Worldwide, Latter Day Saint (LDS)
Charities, M'lop Tapang, Project Handclasp, Project Hope,
Reproductive Health, The Starfish Project, UCSD Pre-Dental Society,
Univ. of Hawaii Engineers, Univ. of Hawaii Nursing, and World Vets.
Rear Adm. Russell Penniman, Reserve Deputy Commander and Chief of
Staff for the U.S. Pacific Fleet is visiting Mercy to observe the
PP12 mission, and will represent the Pacific Fleet staff at the
opening ceremony on July 29, at the Port of Sihanoukville.
“The mission is Pacific Partnership, so it’s partnership with
partner nations, NGOs, and doctors who all work in a common field,
whether military or civilian doctors,” said Penniman. “We welcome
the collaboration, because as a collective, the total will be
greater than its individual parts...especially when a natural