SATTAHIP, Thailand -- Senior mission leadership, host nation and partner nation participants attended the closing ceremony of the final Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19) mission stop in Sattahip, May 25.
“Pacific Partnership is a good project to provide participating countries with goodwill to help each other in difficult times,” said Maj. Gen. Thitichai Tiantong, directorate of joint operations at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters. “Many kinds of disaster can happen any time. I am quite sure that Pacific Partnership is one of the answers for this.”
During the week-long mission stop Thailand, participants from PP19, including the Royal Thai Armed Forces, military personnel from other PP19 partner nations, and civilians from local government agencies collaborated to complete three engineering projects, participate in six host nation outreach engagements, six performances by the Pacific Fleet Band, 23 medical, dental and veterinary side-by-side subject matter exchanges, and five humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exchanges that culminated in an extensive tabletop exercise, simulating local response to a disaster.
“We have built things, we have studied together and we have learned, but the relationships that we have made is what's important,” said Rear Adm. Joey Tynch III, commander, Task Force 73. “Disaster will strike this region as it does all over the world, but what's important now is if there are hard times, we can pick up the phone and talk to someone we know.”
Pacific Partnership began in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of South and Southeast Asia. The mission has evolved over the years from emphasis on direct care to an operation focused on enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges.
Working at the invitation of each host nation, Pacific Partnership collaborates with partner nations including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom to strengthen disaster response preparedness around the Indo-Pacific region.
Thailand is one of several host nations for Pacific Partnership 2019. The mission teams also made stops in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Philippines, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. Experts in the fields of engineering, medicine and disaster response partner with each host nation to conduct civic-action projects, community health exchanges, medical symposiums, and disaster response exercises.
Pacific Partnership’s mission is to work 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 region. Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region.