Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
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May 10, 2010
Hospital Ship Mercy Visits Pearl Harbor, en route for Pacific Partnership
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, May 8, while en route for its Pacific Partnership 2010 (PP10) mission.
"The Pacific Partnership leadership aboard Mercy are Capt. Lisa Franchetti, Mercy's mission commander; Military Sealift Command Capt. David Bradshaw, Mercy's civil service master; and Capt. Jeffery Paulson, commanding officer of Mercy's shipboard hospital.
"Mercy is a big part of our Maritime Strategy," said Franchetti. "Being able to build cooperation and strengthen our regional alliances is a key component of our strategy. We want to engage the world and build partnerships that we continue to grow."
Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian civic assistance endeavors aimed at strengthening regional relationships with host nations and partner nations in Southeast Asia and Oceania.
"This deployment offers an incredible opportunity to continue to build the relationships and capabilities that will be essential in responding to real world disaster in the region," Franchetti said.
The deployment, which is scheduled to take place through late September 2010, is designed to enhance relationships through medical, dental and engineering outreach projects that reinforce the mutually supporting roles between participants.
Mercy, as lead vessel, is scheduled to visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The medical treatment facility includes multiple operating rooms, sophisticated X-ray capabilities and more than 500 volunteer and military staff. Two additional visits will be made in Palau and Papua New Guinea by other Navy and partner nation ships as part of PP10.
"We're very excited to be there," said Franchetti. "As you know, the mission, in a lot of ways, has been planned for the last two years. The last time Mercy was out was in 2008. We've really been working hard at the Pacific Fleet level to develop the mission. It seems like we've been planning on this forever, so we are really excited about getting there and getting started."
Mercy is one of two U.S. Navy hospital ships and is crewed by 66 civil service mariners, of the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, who navigate the ship to each mission stop, run the ship's engineering plant and transport patients and mission personnel between ship and shore in small boats.
Pacific Partnership conducts humanitarian and civic assistance by working with and through host and partner nations, non-governmental organizations and other U.S. government agencies. In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, Pacific Partnership also provides valuable experiences to learn from host nation military and civilian experts. This experience helps ensure the U.S. military is able to rapidly respond in support of emergency relief efforts in the future.
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