An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Nov. 14, 2023

Pacific Partnership Returns to Tonga for the First Time in Ten Years

By Ensign Madison Kwok, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific

Pacific Partnership has arrived in Tonga to conduct the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific, Nov. 13.

Returning to Tonga for the first time since 2013, Pacific Partnership enables participants to work together to enhance disaster response capabilities and foster new and enduring friendships. The mission will be supported by Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor, who also supported the 2013 mission.

At the invitation of Tonga, Pacific Partnership’s mission is to conduct tailored humanitarian and civic preparedness activities in areas such as engineering, disaster response, public health, and Tongan outreach events. This year’s mission, featuring nearly 1500 personnel, was a joint effort on behalf of Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Pacific Partnership creates lasting bonds of friendship and trust between the United States, mission partners and host nations,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Claudine Caluori. “Here in Nuku’alofa, we will demonstrate the spirit of this mission with a united front, with personnel from Tonga, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Chile coming together to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

While in Tonga, Pacific Partnership will provide tailored medical care focusing on subject-matter exchanges and community education, conduct repairs at a local schoolhouse, and lead emergency preparedness training covering disaster response and humanitarian assistance. Additionally, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, accompanied by members of the Royal Australian, Canadian and New Zealand navies and Scots Guard, will perform in a variety of community engagements.

“The Pacific Partnership embodies the values of compassion, solidarity, and the understanding that no single nation can tackle these challenges in isolation,” stated Honorable Samiu Vaipulu, Acting Prime Minister for the Kingdom of Tonga. “We are presented with the opportunity to refine our capabilities and test our coordination approaches. Let us remember that the safety and well-being of our people depend not only on these coordination mechanisms but the genuine trust and care we share about the building resilient communities in the face of many unknowns that are likely to unfold due to the complex and ever-changing risk environment.

Brad Coley, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of United States Embassy Nukuʻalofa notes: "This year has already been an historic one in U.S.-Tongan relations with the opening of U.S. Embassy Nukuʻalofa in May, Secretary of State Blinken's visit to Tonga in July, and Prime Minister Hon. Hu'akavameiliku's September travel to Washington for the second U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit at the White House. I'm delighted that we are ending this busy and productive year on a high-note with the USS Pearl Harbor visiting Nukuʻalofa at the invitation of Tonga and in partnership with His Majesty's Armed Forces. We are looking forward to a busy and fruitful Pacific Partnership stop in Tonga."

Tonga is the last scheduled stop of the 2023 iteration of the Pacific Partnership mission.

For more information about Pacific Partnership  visit, or Pacific Partnership public affairs can be reached via email at




Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on the U.S.-PRC Talks on AI Risk and Safety
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
May 14, 2024 - Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Technology and National Security Tarun Chhabra and Department of State Acting Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technologies Seth Center will lead an...

U.S. Army provides legal training to Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers
(Left to right) U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Lillard, national security law attorney, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gabriel Bush, deputy staff judge advocate, Andersen AFB, Guam, and Maj. Christopher Niemiec, international operations officer, Defense Institute of International Legal Studies pose for a photo with Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers April 6, 2024, Tumon, Guam, during Defense Institute of International Legal Studies training. The three-day training session covered a wide range of topics crucial to the legal aspects of detainee operations, law of armed conflict, and legal considerations in conflict zones to four PNGDF officers re-introducing aircraft to their air wing. (Courtesy)
May 14, 2024 - A U.S. Army national security law attorney conducted Defense Institute of International Legal Studies training with Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers in an effort to enhance their legal expertise April 4, 2024, in...

CARAT Indonesia Celebrates 75 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between U.S., Indonesia
May 13, 2024 - The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2024 with the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and Marine Corps (KORMAR RI) in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia, May 13...

MV-22B Ospreys touch down in the top end for MRF-D 24.3
U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced), Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, take off for the first flight of the MRF-D 24.3 rotation at Port Darwin, Darwin, NT, Australia, May 11, 2024. The Ospreys were flown from Port Darwin to Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, where they will be hosted for the duration of the rotation. VMM-268 (Rein.) makes up the Aviation Combat Element, out of Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, completing the structure of the MAGTF with the arrival of 10 MV-22B Ospreys. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Colton Martin)
May 13, 2024 - The rumble of U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys echoed across Port Darwin and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced) (VMM-268 (Rein.)) arrived as the Aviation Combat...

51st FW F-16 Fighting Falcons take the lead in Red Flag-Alaska 24-1
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron lands on a runway at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 8, 2024. The 36th FS aircraft returned from the Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 training event with sustained operational capabilities and improved interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Kaitlin Frazier)
May 10, 2024 - The 51st Fighter Wing took charge as the lead wing in Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 hosted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, from April 18 - May 3, 2024...