Australia’s largest contribution to annual US-led humanitarian assistance mission Pacific Partnership 2010 (PP10) concluded this week in Papua New Guinea, treating almost 110,000 patients.
More than 300 ADF personnel participated in the mission, providing health and dental care as well as completing 22 engineering projects such as school building restoration and drilling and developing water wells across five countries over four months.
United States Navy Captain Lisa Franchetti, PP10 Mission Commander commended the ADF’s contribution, particularly HMAS Tobruk who was the first Royal Australian Navy ship to act as Command platform during the last leg of the mission to Papua New Guinea.
“It was such a unique experience to conduct the Mission from a ship other than a United States Navy vessel. The Papua New Guinea mission was a huge success and I am in no doubt that the reason for that lies with the crew of HMAS Tobruk — their commitment and hospitality was unwavering,” Captain Franchetti said
Medical and Dental personnel from all three services provided health care to patients at medical clinics and surgeries onboard USNS Mercy whilst also participating in subject matter expert exchanges and health education programs.
More than 35 engineers from Second Combat Engineer Regiment worked with United States Seabees and host nation personnel in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.
During the two previous phases of PP10, HMA Ships Labuan and Tarakan provided logistic support in Indonesia and East Timor and played host to medical, dental and veterinary teams in the more remote locations.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Mark Evans said the reward for the ADF participating in this mission was two-fold.
“Working with a large international team in a complex environment enhanced the professional relationships that have become so important in large scale humanitarian assistance efforts, as we are currently seeing in Pakistan,” he said.
“The chance to undertake a multi-country humanitarian assistance endeavour with various military and non-government personnel on a regular basis also assures a level of preparedness for any disaster relief eventuality,” Lieutenant General Evans said.
In Papua New Guinea, ADF personnel treated 6,500 patients and completed three engineering projects in the areas of Rabaul and Kokopo in East New Britain.
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