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Pacific Partnership 2023 fortifies relationships, strengthens disaster preparedness


The Indo-Pacific’s largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) preparedness mission began in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific islands in early August 2023.

Now in its 18th year, the United States-led Pacific Partnership aims to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security and stability, and foster new and enduring friendships in the Indo-Pacific.

This year’s iteration includes at least 1,500 participants from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States partnering on engineering projects, healthcare events, medical services, subject matter exchanges and more.

Host nations inviting Pacific Partnership 2023 (PP23) teams into their countries include Fiji, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

In the opening weeks of PP23, U.S. Army and Navy surgeons worked with Vietnamese counterparts to perform more than 90 adult and pediatric surgeries at Phu Yen General Hospital, offer dental care and provide nutritional counseling, among other services. More than 500 patients received medical care.

Public health and medical training among U.S. and Vietnamese partners culminated in a mass casualty training exercise with more than 100 PP23 partners rehearsing disaster management skills and protocols.

An engineering team built new classrooms and renovated elementary schools. U.S. Army and Air National Guard members also joined graduate students from the Mien Trung University of Civil Engineering for a joint HADR symposium.

“The Pacific Partnership mission builds trust among nations to work efficiently together and is critical to maintaining peace and stability in the region,” said Dao My, head of the PP23 organizing committee in Vietnam’s Phu Yen Province.

Meanwhile, U.S. Navy Sailors deployed to Fiji for outreach projects, including work at a school for special needs children and an orphanage. Royal New Zealand Navy officers joined U.S. personnel in the Pacific Island Country to teach first aid techniques. As part of a mangrove revitalization project, members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and Navy, Republic of Fiji Military Forces, and U.S. Army and Navy planted 4,000 saplings alongside secondary school students.

Returning to the Philippines for the second consecutive year, PP23 participants completed a school beautification project, built two classrooms, provided medical and dental care, undertook mountain and water search and rescue training, hosted HADR drills and knowledge exchanges, and more.

“This exercise underscores our commitment to regional stability, disaster response readiness, and the well-being of every Filipino and our neighbors,” said Lt. Col. Enrico Gil Ileto, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office. “With our partners, this will help us hurdle challenges by fostering goodwill and fostering safer, more resilient communities for generations to come.”

PP23 will continue throughout 2023 to bolster ties and strengthen HADR preparedness and response among allies and partners.

Pacific Partnership 2023 participants completed 119 outreach events over 10 days in Vietnam, including providing medical care, building classrooms, and leading a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drill. The mission will continue throughout 2023 across Southeast Asia and the South Pacific islands.

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