Pacific Partnership programme wraps up in Da Nang city hinh anh 1Hospital ship USNS MERCY of the United States docked at the Tien Sa Port in central Da Nang city. (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – The Pacific Partnership 2016 (PP16) event, which aims to improve disaster preparedness and regional responsiveness, concluded in the central city of Da Nang on July 28.

Participating in the two-week event were Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Palau, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Timor Leste, the UK, the US and Vietnam.

This was the seventh time in 11 years that the Pacific Partnership took place in Vietnam, and the third consecutive year in Da Nang city.

For the first time, three ships, including USNS MERCY, Japanese Ship Shimokita, and the Vietnam People’s Navy ship Khanh Hoa participated in the programme.

A disaster relief workshop, hosted by the Vietnam National Committee for Search and Rescue and PP16 was also a new feature this year. The workshop included disaster management organisation, early warning signs and incident command systems, and search and rescue efforts.

It concluded with a search and rescue field exercise on the Han river and aboard US hospital ship USNS Mercy.

Four separate engineering projects were completed by Vietnamese and Japanese service members, US Navy Seabees and Marine combat engineers at Hoa Phu primary school , Chinh Gian medical station, Rang Dong kindergarten and Tuong Lai school.

Nine members of the US Pacific Fleet Band performed at various schools and gave two public performances at Bach Dang street and Bien Dong Beach Park.

Colonel Takeshi Okada, Commander of Landing Ship Division One from Japan’s Joint Maritime Self-Defense Force, said the programme helped improve capacity and enhance regional partnerships and cooperation with Vietnam.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said “PP16 serves as a concrete example of the mutually beneficial activities President Obama discussed in his May visit to Vietnam. PP16 builds trust and evidences the U.S. commitment to Vietnam and the region.”

Pacific Partnership 2016 is focused on enhancing multinational-interoperability through knowledge exchange and training, ensuring partner nations are prepared to respond when disaster strikes.

After Vietnam, Pacific Partnership 16 continues onto Malaysia and Indonesia.-VNA