Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have improved the lives of thousands of people in Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines as part of the largest annual multilateral humanitarian and civic assistance mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.
Exercise Pacific Partnership 14 has delivered medical, dental, veterinary and engineering aid while strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations.
Over 50 ADF personnel participated in this year’s Pacific Partnership from 24 May to 15 July working alongside colleagues from the armed forces of the United States (US), Japan, Singapore, Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Chile.
Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral (VADM) David Johnston said Exercise Pacific Partnership was highly successful in delivering assistance to local communities and building trust and relationships between the international partners and hosts.
“There have been many success stories for the ADF,” VADM Johnston said.
“In Dili the ADF-led construction projects delivered desperately needed school and health facilities to the community.
“In the Philippines, a US doctor and an Australian nursing officer saved a young boy’s life, which is an excellent example of international teamwork achieving a truly amazing result.
“There was also the excellent integration of the ADF medical and command team onboard the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force amphibious support ship JS Kunisaki, a significant event for our forces.”
The Kunisaki-embarked team treated almost 3,000 people in the Cambodian city of Sihanoukville and the surrounding region and provided valuable training for more than 300 medical practitioners at the Da Nang General Hospital, Da Nang Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital and Military Hospital 17 in Vietnam.
Furthermore, 100 orphans in Da Nang city have a better quality of life and education thanks to a refurbishment of the Tram Y Te Phuong Hoa Quy orphanage and clinic by US Army and ADF personnel.
In the Philippines the Mayor of Tacloban, Alfred Romualdez, praised the medical team for their assistance in training more than 200 hospital staff and treating 2,600 people at two free medical clinics in the southern province of Leyte.
“We are very grateful to our Pacific Partnership friends, particularly the Australians and the Americans, who came back to help us, because it will take a very long time to recover from Typhoon Haiyan,” Mayor Romualdez said.
Another team of ADF medical specialists deployed directly to Timor‑Leste with a group of 6th Engineer Support Regiment personnel to spend an intensive five weeks improving schools and hospitals and providing valuable medical training.
Working alongside Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL) and US military personnel, the ADF medical team provided training for Timorese military paramedics and other health specialists while a dental team provided services to local schools and communities.
The Army engineers worked with the US Navy’s Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 (the ‘Seabees’) and F-FDTL engineers to construct a new emergency room at the Comoro Medical Health Centre, an outdoor kitchen at Comoro Intermediate School and an ablutions facility at Farol Primary School.
A key feature of this year’s exercise was the emphasis placed on the transfer of specialist skills.
Every medical, dental, veterinary, and engineering project was conducted side-by-side with the host nation’s specialists, ensuring that the mission’s impact will continue long after its conclusion.
The annual US-sponsored Pacific Partnership series of exercises arose from the military-led humanitarian response to the devastation wrought by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that swept through littoral Southeast Asia.
The primary objective of Pacific Partnership is to improve cooperation and understanding between the partner and host nations ahead of major natural disasters that require a multinational response.
Imagery from Exercise Pacific Partnership 14 is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20141536
Further information about Pacific Partnership is available at:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999