U.S. and Japanese marines land on mission to Da Nang

By Nguyen Dong   July 20, 2016 | 11:33 pm PT
Elite forces are turning their skills to upgrading schools and medical centers.

Within the multilateral humanitarian and disaster response exercise known as the Pacific Partnership 2016 in Vietnam’s central coastal city of Da Nang, 10 U.S. and Japanese marines have been deployed to help local people to refurbish medical clinics and nursery schools.


The Pacific Partnership 2016 (PP16), with the participation of several countries, including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and the U.K, is led by the U.S. Pacific Fleet. This is the 7th time that Vietnam has joined the two-week exercise. And this year is the first time that a Vietnamese People’s Navy vessel has been integrated into the deployment.


The Vietnamese government approved the central coastal city of Da Nang as the destination for PP16 - the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drill in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region - with the aim of enhancing humanitarian cooperation, improving regional responsiveness, promoting friendship exchanges and bolstering defense ties with the U.S. and its partner nations. 


While in Vietnam, PP16 personnel will work with Vietnamese officers to carry out civil engineering projects, exchange expertise with military medical staff and participate in other community projects.


Together with Vietnamese personnel, U.S. and Japanese marines are making renovations to Hoa Phu Primary School, the Chinh Gian medical station, Rang Dong Kindergarten and the Tuong Lai Special School in Da Nang. 


A marine fixes electricity lines to light the room.


The walls are painted green.


Plastic water pipes are fixed to the fittings using glue.


The PP16 personnel are not only helping the local community to renovate infrastructure, they are also participating in other activities such as paying visits to an orphanage and organizing a concert on Da Nang's beach.


Da Nang city will host a football competition with the participation of U.S. and Japanese personnel.


“The scope of the mission is slightly different from previous years’ missions. While PP16 retains the traditional humanitarian aid and disaster relief, medical, engineering and community relation projects, this year’s mission includes a Japanese ship the Shimokita and the Vietnam People’s Navy in Khanh Hoa,” said Lieutenant/ Commander Jason Dao, the American officer in charge of the Vietnam mission.


The highlight of this year’s mission will be the crisis management drill, which will take place on Da Nang’s coastal path and include disaster preparation, national and regional response, maritime search and rescue and coastal medical emergency situations. 


After Vietnam, the PP16 will move on to Malaysia and Indonesia.

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