Pacific Partnership, which is scheduled to take place between June and September 2010, is aimed at strengthening regional relationships with host nations and partner nations in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Pacific Partnership is designed to enhance these relationships though medical, dental and engineering outreach projects that reinforce the mutually supporting roles between participants. Another benefit is to help participants practice the skills that would be called upon in response to a disaster.You can follow the 4-month mission on a variety of social media tools. The Pacific Partnership 2010 is actively updating on their own website, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and blog. Based on their schedule they will return to Hawaii in September before heading back to home port in San Diego. All the best to the mission and crew of the USNS Mercy for all the work they do.
En route on its mission: Pacific Partnership 2010, the USNS Mercy docked in Pearl Harbor to pick up supplies and volunteers from Hawaii, before heading off to Guam. The weekend stopover also allowed ship personnel to spend a brief moment in Hawaii. But judging from the amount of visitors filing through the ship, there was little time for crew sightseeing. This ship tour was a quick one, unlike previous embarks to the USS Nimitz, Santa Fe and Chung-Hoon. Whereas the previous ship visits were operational tours, experiencing the USNS Mercy was like taking a walk in a giant floating hospital. We toured operating rooms, recovery rooms, CT scanners, bio-labs, well stocked cafeteria and sizable exercise rooms. The USNS Mercy was described as being one of the largest in the Navy's fleet, second only to an aircraft carrier. Interestingly, this ship wasn't built to order. It was originally a oil freighter that was later converted in the mid-1980's to function as a humanitarian, medical facility. The USNS Mercy is on its way to Guam and a 4-month exercise called Pacific Partnership 2010. From Guam they will visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Two additional visits are scheduled to Palau and Papua New Guinea by other Navy ships. This is the fifth in a series of U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian efforts that started in 2006. According to the Pacific Partnership blog the mission is described as: