The Pacific Partnership program 2016 (PP16) was launched in the central city of Da Nang on Friday with the participation of Khanh Hoa hospital ship under the Vietnam People’s Navy for the first time.
This year’s program, the seventh event held in a Vietnamese locality and the third in Da Nang, brings together the US hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and Japanese naval ship JSDS Shimokita (LST-4002), as well as representatives from partner countries, including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines and the UK.
According to US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, PP16 is a specific example of activities bringing about a common interest that US President Barack Obama mentioned during his visit to Vietnam in May.
PP16 has proved the US’ commitments to Vietnam and the region, he said, noting that the Vietnam-US relationship is growing positively, benefiting people in both countries and contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability and development in the region.
During the event, participants will work with civil health workers in Vietnam and participate in civil construction projects, while holding professional exchanges with naval medical officers aboard the Khanh Hoa hospital ship.
Japanese officers and sailors on board the Japanese naval ship JSDS Shimokita (LST-4002) in Da Nang on Friday. Photo: Nguyen Tu
The program will also hold a conference on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief that will end with a disaster response drill.
Meanwhile, the US and Vietnamese participants will join hands in upgrading Hoa Phu primary school, Chinh Gian healthcare station, Rang Dong kindergarten and Tuong Lai special school.
The Pacific Fleet Band will play music in Bach Dang street and Bien Dong Park, while PP16 officers will train the local community in rescue skills and English.
Da Nang city will also hold a football competition for foreign football teams, including those from the US and Japan .
The event will run until July 28 and will be continued in Malaysia and Indonesia .
The Pacific Partnership, promoted by the United States Navy in 2004, aims to improve collaboration between the region’s military forces and charitable organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian and medical assistance to regional countries.