International relationships strengthened through Pacific Partnership

Aus­tralia will be strength­en­ing rela­tion­ships through­out the Pacif­ic from April with par­tic­i­pa­tion in the sixth annu­al Unit­ed States-led human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance mis­sion – Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2011.
Ships from the U.S, Aus­tralia, Japan and New Zealand, and a heli­copter crew from France, along with health spe­cial­ists and engi­neers from the US mil­i­tary, Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF), Cana­di­an Defence Force, Sin­ga­pore­an Defence Force and Span­ish Defence Force will form the basis of a human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance mis­sion in the Pacif­ic region over the next four months.

As part of Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2011 med­ical, den­tal, vet­eri­nary and engi­neer­ing aid projects will be con­duct­ed in Ton­ga, Van­u­atu, Papua New Guinea, East Tim­or and the Fed­er­at­ed States of Microne­sia. ADF per­son­nel will work close­ly with host nation defence forces to deliv­er these projects. 

The mis­sion marks the sixth year of Aus­tralian par­tic­i­pa­tion and is aimed at strength­en­ing inter­na­tion­al rela­tion­ships and inter­op­er­abil­i­ty for dis­as­ter relief in the region. 

Through­out the deploy­ment, approx­i­mate­ly 50 ADF per­son­nel will be based onboard the Amer­i­can amphibi­ous trans­port dock ship USS Cleve­land. Addi­tion­al­ly, HMA Ships Betano and Balik­pa­pan will con­tribute to the mis­sion through vital ship to shore activ­i­ties in some countries. 

Chief of Joint Oper­a­tions, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Mark Evans, said the sup­port the Aus­tralian Defence Force is pro­vid­ing demon­strates Australia’s com­mit­ment to the region and the ADF’s focus on inter­op­er­abil­i­ty with our neigh­bours and oth­er nations oper­at­ing with­in the region. 

Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship has been held annu­al­ly by the U.S Pacif­ic Fleet since the dev­as­tat­ing effects of the Box­ing Day Tsuna­mi in 2004. 

The Com­man­der of the Aus­tralian Nation­al Com­mand Ele­ment for Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2011, Com­man­der Ash­ley Papp, RAN, is avail­able for interview. 

Media con­tact:
Defence Media Oper­a­tions: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

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

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