Royal Australian Navy provides Deputy Mission Commander for Pacific Partnership
21 July 2015
Bowral's Brian Delamont, is normally Director General Navy Communications and Information Warfare but from May to September this year, he is wearing a different hat, a multi -national one.
The senior Royal Australian Navy officer and Deputy Mission Commander for Pacific Partnership 2015, Captain Delamont is the senior non-US officer attached to the annual United States sponsored humanitarian and civic assistance mission.
Now at sea in hospital ship USNS Mercy he is helping to oversee a huge cooperative effort to deliver medical and engineering support to deserving communities in the south Pacific.
Independent teams based in two United States Naval Ships, the 1000-bed hospital ship Mercy and fast catamaran Millinocket, are visiting remote communities in Kiribati, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Captain Delamont said the entire Australian team in Mercy is fully embedded in the US organisation and it has been a great experience to work on this mission as one of the embeds.
"We engage at the request and with the cooperation of the local communities," CAPT Delamont said.
"Potential patients are screened medically and we transfer them back to the ship if necessary to receive treatment; otherwise they are treated by our specialists at clinics ashore."
According to Captain Delamont, joining the Royal Australian Navy out of high school was an unexpected outcome for a lad born and raised in Bowral with no connection with the military except a grandfather who had served in Papua New Guinea during World War ll.
"I was very attracted to the opportunity of a career with the chance every few years to refocus and move to a different location and that’s the way it has turned out," he said.
"I've been very fortunate to have worked all around Australia and served in a number of different ships."
"I'm also particularly grateful that at a stage when I thought my sea going career might have been done I’ve been given a chance to get back to sea again."
Through Pacific Partnership Australia has provided almost 60 personnel across all three services. The outcome will be engineering and medical support to communities which otherwise would not have access to a high standard of those services.
Twenty-five medical staff across a wide range of disciplines have integrated into the mostly United States teams operating out of USNS Mercy.
"I think we all feel very privileged to be involved in Pacific Partnership 2015," he said.
"It was a competitive selection for people to be deployed on this mission. We certainly had more people volunteering to be included than we had positions.",/p>