On January 10, the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia, in support of Pacific Partnership 24-1.
The arrival of USNS Mercy to Chuuk marks the final stop of Pacific Partnership 24-1, the largest multinational humanitarian and disaster relief mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific.
Mercy’s arrival to Chuuk marks the seventh time Pacific Partnership has worked side-by-side with the Federated States of Micronesia, with an earlier stop in Pohnpei in December 2023.
At the invitation of host nations, Pacific Partnership’s mission partners conduct tailored humanitarian civil action preparedness activities in areas such as engineering, disaster response, public health, and host nation outreach events.
The U.S. Pacific Partnership Band, comprised of musicians from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band and the Royal Australian Navy, will perform in a variety of community engagements.
“The Pacific Partnership’s visit to Pohnpei last month reached FSM citizens through health and community service outreach—from eye and dental care to subject matter expert training to medical procedures,” said U.S. Ambassador Jennifer Johnson, ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia. “Seeing people of all ages enjoy the talented musicians of the Pacific Fleet Band was a great highlight of the visit. We look forward to this second phase of the mission in Chuuk, where the Mercy can provide an even greater range of medical assistance.”
In addition to activities aboard the hospital ship, Pacific Partnership medical providers will work shoulder-to-shoulder with providers at Chuuk State Hospital, ensuring that information exchanges result in more sustainable medical practices once USNS Mercy leaves Chuuk.
This year’s mission will also feature nearly 1,300 personnel from allies and partner nations including Australia, Chile, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and New Zealand.
Born out of the devastation brought by the December 2004 tsunami that swept through parts of South and Southeast Asia, Pacific Partnership began as a military-led humanitarian response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters. Building on the success and goodwill of this operation, the United States helped spearhead the inaugural Pacific Partnership mission in 2006.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year the mission team works collectively 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.