Home : Media : News : News Article View

Pacific Partnership 2019 Conducts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Ban Surasak School

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelsey Adams | Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific   | May 23, 2019

CHON BURI PROVINCE, Thailand -- U.S. Navy and Army servicemembers, assigned to Pacific Partnership 2019, along with their partner nation counterparts from the Royal Thai Armed Forces conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new library at the Ban Surasak School, May 23.

For the past month, U.S. Navy and Army servicemembers have worked alongside Thai engineers at the Ban Surasak School to construct a library, which was also designed to function as a shelter in the event of a natural disaster.

“When I think about the school’s future, a lasting impact comes to mind,” said Capt. Randy Van Rossum, mission commander of Pacific Partnership 2019. “There are several aspects of this project that truly demonstrate the meaning of Pacific Partnership. Over the past few weeks, the United States and Thai construction workers have come together to improve the community’s infrastructures, ultimately increasing our ability to effectively respond when disaster hits.”

The construction of this library holds special meaning for Van Rossum because his wife is a schoolteacher and his daughter will soon become one. He also stated that education is key in disaster preparedness.

“Education is critical and having a safe environment for knowledge growth enables community resilience, which is vital in times of crisis,” said Van Rossum. “Giving our teachers and students the proper resources, such as a safe library to learn in, is the key to our future success as partner nations.”

The library was not the only thing built, the U.S. Navy Sailors, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 and U.S. Army Reserve Engineers, assigned to 377th Engineer Company, worked side-by-side with the Royal Thai Mobile Development Unit to build relationships, exchange knowledge and learn different techniques from each another.

“I feel such joy when I look at the completed library and know that we were able to work alongside our American partners to make this happen,” said Royal Thai Army Major Itt Potisuwan, the deputy of Royal Thai Mobile Development Unit 14. “However, what brings me the most joy is when I remember all the learning and laughter that took place here. This library was built with love and happiness and I look forward to seeing the children for years to come, walk into this library to grow and learn together as we did alongside our American counterparts.”

Some of the most prominent areas of knowledge exchange included stucco and welding techniques.

“I remember the first day on the site, I saw a young American man who did not have much experience in welding, and I could see the nervousness in his eyes,” said Potisuwan. “However, I sent one of my welders over to him, and even though they did not speak the same language, they did not need it because they let their tools talk for them. Towards the end of the project, I happened to see that same young man from that first day, and he was welding with such confidence, and it brought such pride to my heart. Pacific Partnership gave those two welders a chance to learn and teach one another and along the way came a lasting friendship. Being a witness to this type of thing was truly a humbling experience and what I believe this mission is all about.”

Another ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for the new construction of a restroom facility at the Ban Mabfugthong School.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year, the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
244,052
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Pacific Air Forces Commander Reaffirms Ironclad Alliance at Exhibition in Seoul
Gen. CQ. Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, meets with Gen. Dato ‘Sri Affendi, the Chief of Royal Malaysian Air Force, during a bilateral engagement at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2019 at the Seoul Airport, Republic of Korea, October 16, 2019. Seoul ADEX 19 offers a venue to enhance regional security through expanded military-to-military cooperation and with regional partners and allies.
Oct. 18, 2019 - SEOUL, Republic of Korea -- Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, engaged with

Philippines, Japan, US Conduct Closing Ceremony for Exercise KAMANDAG 3
An AH-1Z Viper helicopter with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 169 flies in the sky during the final exercise of KAMANDAG 3 at Colonel Ernesto P. Ravina Air Base, Philippines, Oct. 17, 2019. As treaty allies, U.S.-Philippine military collaboration has served as a cornerstone for stability in the Indo-Pacific region for decades, and the U.S. has a continuing commitment to strengthening our longstanding alliances, reinforcing our maritime security efforts, and addressing our shared extremist threat. KAMANDAG is an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Manirigma Ng Dagat,” which translates to “Cooperation of the Warriors of the Sea,” highlighting the partnership between the U.S. and Philippine militaries.
Oct. 18, 2019 - MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines, Japan and the United States conducted the closing ceremony of

USS Pioneer Arrives in Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
Commanding officer of Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9), Lt. Cmdr. Bobby Wayland, gives a command ball cap to the mayor of Uki city, Kenshi Morita. Pioneer, part of Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7, is operating in the 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response platform for contingency operations.
Oct. 18, 2019 - UKI, KUMAMOTO, Japan -- The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9) arrived in

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Team Searches for the Missing
In this file photo, U.S. Navy Equipment Operator 2nd Class Spencer Angel, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) recovery noncommissioned officer augmentee, shovels mud out of a wet screening station’s water supply during a DPAA recovery mission in Khammouan province, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, June 10, 2018. DPAA team members deployed to the area in hopes of locating U.S. service members who went missing from the Vietnam War. The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.
Oct. 18, 2019 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- *Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series on

Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, 11th MEU Build Partnerships in Western Pacific
Digital art and photos were used for this layout and design to inform an online audience via social media about the role of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the 7th Fleet area of operations. The Marines and Sailors of the 11th MEU are deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners, and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.
Oct. 17, 2019 - SOUTH CHINA SEA -- Marines and Sailors from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine