|USNS Mercy off Indonesian Coast - Photo Credit Below|
|Captain James Morgan|
“Pacific Partnership is the largest annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission in the Asia-Pacific region, designed to strengthen regional relationships and increase interoperability between the United States, partner nations, and international humanitarian and relief organizations.”
Captain Morgan has been designated the Mission Commander with the USNS Mercy as his flag ship. Home based out of San Diego, the Mercy is one of two hospital ships in the US Navy. With its crew, medical staff and a helicopter detachment of two MH-60s there are about 1,000 personnel on board for Pacific Partnership which kicks off on May 1st. The exercise will include 14 day visits to four nations: Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and Indonesia with a full range of medical and civic affairs exercises at each. Their efforts will focus on coordination with host nation medical and the non governmental organizations. For the first time, this year’s exercise will include a Civilian Military Coordination Center on board to plan and coordinate medical and training events specifically 24 to 72 hours ahead of the activity.
|USNS Sailors - See Below for Photo Credit|
The 700 uniformed medical staff has been sourced from Navy hospitals and include surgical specialties such as orthopedics, OB/GYN, pediatrics, general...++. The host nation medical and NGOs bring their own capabilities as well to the Navy’s large shipboard hospital! The Mercy was originally designed as an oil tanker to demonstrate how big this ship is!
We also heard from Captain Timothy Hinman, Medical Treatment Facility Commanding Officer; and Captain Jonathan Olmsted, Ship's Master for USNS MERCY (T-AH-19), Military Sealift Command during the Roundtable as each spoke of their capabilities. The Military Sealift Command with 70 civilian mariners operates and maintains the Mercy and Captain Hinman commands the 700 member medical team.
Captain Morgan closed with how Pacific Partner relationships and experiences help and how the concept was validated during the response to the Japanese tsunami disaster. He said they were “excited, going to do good things" during the exercise.
This was a great Blogger Roundtable and an audio is available at DoDLive! A big thank you to the three Captains for taking the time to talk with us! As they participate in Pacific Partnership all promised to update us with interview opportunities to tell us how they are making our world a better place.
Photo Credit: Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) is anchored off the coast of Ternate, Indonesia, July 20, 2010. Mercy was in the North Maluku islands of Indonesia conducting Pacific Partnership 2010, the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet endeavors conducted in Indonesia to strengthen regional partnerships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eddie Harrison/Released)
Photo Credit: Captain James Morgan DoDLive
Photo Credit: U.S. Sailors assigned to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) unload donated personal hygiene kits for children at the Rumah Sejahtera Bagi Anak Orphanage in Tobelo, Indonesia, July 14, 2010. The Sailors took part in Pacific Partnership 2010, the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet endeavors conducted in Indonesia as a disaster relief exercise aimed at strengthening regional partnerships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Jackson/Released)