USNS Mercy Departs Japan

Service members participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) departed Yokosuka, Japan, aboard Military Sealift Command (MSC) hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), June 21.

Mercy made two stops in Yokosuka and one in Tokyo, where service members participated in medical symposiums and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) drills, and conducted ship tours for members of the Japanese government, military personnel and local citizens.

“Port calls like this are a great opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and cultures with each other,” said Capt. David Bretz, PP18 mission commander. “The crew and I enjoyed our visit to Japan and we all look forward to returning in the future.”

Mercy and MSC expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) conducted mission stops in Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yap during PP18. These mission stops increased the reach and scope of PP18 participants and host nation counterparts to conduct technical expertise exchanges in medical, engineering, and HA/DR. Additionally, key leader and community engagement events allowed for direct engagement with local citizens and enhanced relationships with partner nation military and government leadership.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multilateral HA/DR preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. PP18’s objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.

Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be