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NEWS | Jan. 9, 2024

Pacific Partnership 24-1 Concludes Fourth Mission Stop in Palau

By Ensign Lacy Burkett, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific

Pacific Partnership 24-1 (PP24-1) concluded 16 days of medical, engineering, host nation outreach efforts, and humanitarian and disaster response in the Republic of Palau, closing out its fourth mission stop Jan 6.

“Pacific Partnership brings nations together, emphasizing the importance of preparation in calm to respond effectively in crisis,” said Palau’s vice president Uduch Sengebau Senior. “As the Chair of the National Emergency Committee, we welcome Pacific Partnership to come to Palau because you’re providing us the training we need to better prepare to respond to disasters.”

Pacific Partnership is a unifying mission that fosters cooperation between nations. The Palau mission stop hosted personnel from the United States Navy, Army and Coast Guard, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Ground Self-Defense Force and Air Self-Defense Force, the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Navy and German Navy to enhance capabilities across medical, humanitarian assistance disaster relief and host nation outreach lines of effort.

“A foundational goal of Pacific Partnership is working side-by-side with local partners to build medical and host-nation capacity,” said Capt. Brian Quin, mission commander, Pacific Partnership 24-1. “We did just that here in Palau, and I am proud of the work Palauans and our mission team accomplished in a short amount of time.”

Throughout their 16-day stop in Palau, PP24-1 teams conducted more than 132 medical engagements, including 1,802 dental procedures. The optometry team distributed more than 1,419 prescription glasses and 1,442 pairs of sunglasses. Additionally, the Pacific Partnership medical team conducted 80 surgeries aboard USNS Mercy and Belau National Hospital.

Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion One and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, enhanced host nation agricultural infrastructure. Utilizing existing infrastructure, the team constructed a communal chicken coop. Local residents will use this chicken coop to facilitate the collection of eggs as a protein source, reducing the dependence of imported food.

As part of the host nation outreach events line of effort, the U.S. Pacific Partnership Band, comprised of musicians from the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, performed 7 concerts for communities in Palau, including a Christmas Eve concert. Pacific Partnership Sailors connected with the young people of Palau during a 3x3 basketball tournament at the Palau National Olympic Committee’s newly painted outdoor court.

“Basketball is an international sport that transcends culture and language barriers,” said Senior

Chief Petty Officer Eric Zimmermann, Multi-National Operations Center Director for Pacific Partnership 24-1. “The 3x3 tournament had a larger turnout than we planned, with more than double the local teams expected. With the incredible support of Ms. Jubilee Kuratei of the Palau National Olympic Committee, we created an opportunity to build lasting connections and friendships between our Sailors and local Palauans.”

Now in its 19th iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Pacific Partnership works collaboratively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security and stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships in the Indo-Pacific.

For more information about Pacific Partnership and USNS Mercy, visit www.facebook.com/pacificpartnership, www.facebook.com/USNSMERCY, or https://www.msc.usff.navy.mil/ships/mercy