USA / Asien

USNS Byrd Crew Gears Up for Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship Mis­sion

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2009 — A four-month human­i­tar­i­an mis­sion to the South Pacif­ic led by the Navy’s U.S. Pacif­ic Fleet will begin this month as planned despite a switch in ships, the mis­sion com­man­der said.
In a deci­sion made to exer­cise an abun­dance of cau­tion, offi­cials chose to replace the Navy’s USS Dubuque with the Mil­i­tary Sealift Com­mand dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Richard E. Byrd for the Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2009 mis­sion after a small num­ber of sailors aboard Dubuque were diag­nosed with the H1N1 virus, Navy Capt. Andrew Cul­ly said in a “DoDLive” blog­gers round­table June 15. 

Dubuque was one of the first, and remains one of the few ships on the West Coast to report H1N1,” Cul­ly said. 

Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship will pro­vide engi­neer­ing sup­port and med­ical, den­tal and vet­eri­nary care in Samoa, Ton­ga, the Solomon Islands, Kiri­bati and the Mar­shall Islands. 

Byrd was select­ed as a replace­ment plat­form because its capa­bil­i­ties fit the needs of the mis­sion, Cul­ly said. The switch required reduc­ing the med­ical staff from 180 to 50, but the “reduced staff won’t affect the mis­sion,” said Cul­ly, who helped to refo­cus the deploy­ment plan to max­i­mize its pub­lic health, den­tal, optom­e­try and vet­eri­nary services. 

We’re excit­ed that even with the last-minute changes, we’ll still deliv­er what we promised to a lot of high-impact areas,” he added. 

When mem­bers of the inter­na­tion­al groups that assist with the annu­al mis­sion learned about the plat­form change, they offered to fly direct­ly to the coun­tries where Byrd will stop at ports. 

I’m very pleased that most of these orga­ni­za­tions stayed with us and are inti­mate­ly involved in the plan­ning, as well as the exe­cu­tion, of this mis­sion,” Cul­ly said. 

Project Hope, the Lolo­ma Foun­da­tion, Inter­na­tion­al Aid, and the Shriners are among the groups that will par­tic­i­pate in Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2009. 

The crew mem­bers aboard Byrd are eager to begin their mis­sion, Cul­ly said. 

Help­ing oth­er nations in a deploy­ment like this is one of the most pro­fes­sion­al­ly and per­son­al­ly reward­ing career expe­ri­ences for all of us,” he said. 

In addi­tion to med­ical aid, Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship will pro­vide engi­neer­ing sup­port. Engi­neers from New Zealand, Aus­tralia and Cana­da will refur­bish build­ings such as schools and clin­ics and will exe­cute water catch­ment projects. 

Every project we have — whether refur­bish­ing the clin­ic [or] refur­bish­ing the school­house — we have tak­en great strides to increase … their water catch­ment to pro­vide fresh water,” Cul­ly said. 

By Navy Lt. Jen­nifer Cragg
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice
(Navy Lt. Jen­nifer Cragg serves in the Defense Media Activity’s emerg­ing media directorate.) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →