US’s Pacific Partnership disaster-response program comes to Vietnam

By Minh Nga   May 7, 2019 | 08:30 pm GMT+7
US’s Pacific Partnership disaster-response program comes to Vietnam
U.S. Navy Capt. Randy Van Rossum, Pacific Partnership 2019 mission commander, addresses attendees during the Pacific Partnership 2019 closing ceremony in Malaysia, April 11, 2019. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Burgains
Vietnam is among the hosts this year of the Pacific Partnership, a humanitarian and disaster response-preparation program in the Indo-Pacific.

An opening ceremony for the program was held on Monday in Tuy Hoa coastal town in the south central Phu Yen Province and attended by diplomats from the U.S. and other program partner nations.

The program is run by the U.S. navy in partnership with a number of other Pacific Ocean countries.

U.S. and Vietnamese troops and volunteers are scheduled to take part in a series of events including first-aid and preventive medicine exchanges, healthcare symposiums, engineering projects, disaster response seminars, and community outreach engagements with the goal of improving humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness in the Indo-Pacific.

"Through Pacific Partnership and other efforts, the U.S. aims to support Vietnam’s goals and objectives while building interoperability with our regional partners and allies to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region," the American consul general in HCMC, Mary Tarnowka, said.

"As an Indo-Pacific country, the United States envisions a regional order where all nations – large and small – are strong, independent, and free from coercion."

Pacific Partnership began as a response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of South and Southeast Asia.

The mission has evolved over the years from emphasis on direct care to enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges.

The other partner nations are Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and the U.K.

This year the program has been to the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Micronesia, Malaysia, and Timor-Leste, and will conclude in Thailand.

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