Australian Defence Force Departs For Pacific Partnership 2012

The Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) is help­ing to improve region­al capac­i­ty to respond to nat­ur­al and human­i­tar­i­an emer­gen­cies.

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On 22 May, ADF per­son­nel depart­ed Aus­tralia for their deploy­ment as part of Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2012. These per­son­nel rep­re­sent the Com­mand and Med­ical Spe­cial­ist con­tri­bu­tion to the exer­cise.

Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2012 is an annu­al US-spon­sored human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance exer­cise aimed at strength­en­ing inter­na­tion­al rela­tion­ships with part­ner and host nations in Asia and Ocea­nia and to enhance inter­op­er­abil­i­ty of region­al forces in their abil­i­ty to respond to nat­ur­al dis­as­ters and human­i­tar­i­an emer­gen­cies.

This year, Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2012 will deliv­er med­ical, den­tal, vet­eri­nary and engi­neer­ing aid to Indone­sia (North Sulawe­si), Philip­pines (Samar), Viet­nam (Vinh) and Cam­bo­dia (Sihanoukville).

Com­man­der Ken Wal­ters from the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy will lead the Aus­tralian con­tin­gent.

“Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship rep­re­sents a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for Aus­tralian per­son­nel to work close­ly with our region­al allies and deliv­er some fan­tas­tic sup­port to our neigh­bours, while also prac­tic­ing for any future dis­as­ters. Work­ing with part­ners includ­ing the Unit­ed States, Cana­da, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and Thai­land allows our per­son­nel to enhance the capa­bil­i­ty to respond and to exam­ine first hand how our part­ners oper­ate,” Com­man­der Wal­ters said.

The exer­cise marks the sev­enth year of Aus­tralian par­tic­i­pa­tion. Through­out the exer­cise, 37 ADF per­son­nel will be based onboard the Amer­i­can hos­pi­tal ship USNS Mer­cy. Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship has been held annu­al­ly by the US Pacif­ic Fleet since the trag­ic Box­ing Day Tsuna­mi in 2004.

“The 2004 Box­ing Day Tsuna­mi clear­ly demon­strates how quick­ly and unex­pect­ed­ly nat­ur­al dis­as­ters and human­i­tar­i­an emer­gen­cies can arise, activ­i­ties like this con­tin­ue to improve the region­al response capa­bil­i­ty for any future emer­gency,” Com­man­der Wal­ters said.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia