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Jun 22, 2022 / 09:52

US naval ship arrives in Vietnam for largest humanitarian mission in Indo-Pacific

Vietnam is the first stop in the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance mission in the Indo-Pacific.

US Naval Ship Mercy (T-AH 19), Military Sealift Command hospital ship, has arrived in Vietnam for Pacific Partnership Program 2022 (PP22), the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific.

 US Naval Ship Mercy in Phu Yen, Vietnam. Photos: US Embassy in Hanoi 

Arrived at Vung Ro Port, Phu Yen Province on June 19, USNS Mercy marked Vietnam as the first stop for PP22, which is now in its 17th year.

In Vietnam, the Pacific Partnership 22 team, comprised of representatives from Australia, Japan, the UK, and the US, 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. 

“This is a tangible reflection of the spirit of the Pacific Partnership mission: strengthening international ties throughout the Indo-Pacific region and fostering multilateral cooperation and partnership. In short, we are strengthening our growing friendships, like the one we share with Vietnam,” said Capt. Hank Kim, Pacific Partnership mission commander.

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.

Captain Hank Kim, Pacific Partnership 2022 mission commander (L) delivers remarks during the Pacific Partnership Vietnam opening ceremony. 

“Through the Pacific Partnership engagements we have planned together with our Vietnamese colleagues – whether medical engagements, engineering projects, community outreach or band concerts – we are not only getting to know each other better, but also making a lasting impact in local communities,” Hank Kim added.

Throughout Pacific Partnership over the next two weeks, participants will share the wealth of each other’s experiences and improve the lines of communication needed to work together.

In addition to medical and humanitarian assistance disaster relief work, PP22 personnel have been involved in a number of engineering projects throughout the area, building three schools for the local community. “These combined projects not only help improve the infrastructure for local youth, but also build lasting bonds of friendship and trust,” Capt. Kim emphasized.

 Pacific Partnership 2022 personnel and Vietnamese officials in Phu Yen. 

On June 20, PP22 was officially started to implement in Phu Yen and will last for July 3, marking the second time PP has been held in the province   

Initiated by the US, Pacific Partnership is a multinational humanitarian assistance program in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters: the tsunami in December 2004 destroying many places in South and Southeast Asia. This is the largest program of its kind in the region.

USNS Mercy is a 1,000 bed hospital ship commissioned in 1986, layberthed at Pier 1 on Naval Base San Diego, California.

Along with USNS Comfort, Mercy provides an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facilities when called upon to the US military, and hospital services to support US disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

 US music band at Nghinh Phong Square, Phu Yen.