US Navy vessels arrive in Da Nang for Pacific Partnership hinh anh 1Hospital ship USNS Mercy (Source: VNA)
The US Pacific Fleet’s hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and hi-speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) docked in Tien Sa port in the central city of Da Nang on August 17 for their last stops of the Pacific Partnership 2015 (PP15).

It is the first time the mission has featured the two US Navy vessels.

While in Da Nang from August 17-28, the US and partner nation service members will work together to conduct subject matter expert exchanges on various medical and disaster relief topics, dental care and engineering civil action programmes.

Personnel aboard both ships will also have the opportunity to volunteer at community outreach events.

Royal Australian Navy Commander Ken Walters said the exchange will be related to disaster medicine and preparedness along with other relevant subjects to provide the Vietnamese community with the wherewithal to sustain themselves in events of a catastrophe.

Commanding Officer of the Medical Treatment Facility on Mercy, Captain Melanie Merrick, said the mission in Vietnam will focus on sharing ideas and furthering an understanding of the response capabilities in the host nation should a disaster strike.

Other engagements for the PP15 crew on this mission stop include orthopaedic surgical cases, where Navy surgeons will work side-by-side with host nation health providers.

Additionally, US Navy Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion One will help renovate three medical buildings and the US Pacific Fleet Band has a full schedule of public performances in Da Nang.

The visit by Mercy and Millinocket to Vietnam also coincides with the 20 th anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the US and Vietnam, said Captain Christopher Engdahl, the mission commander for PP15.

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions to date have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, PP15 has provided critical infrastructure development to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects./.