Philippines, US kick off Pacific Partnership mission
MANILA, Philippines – The US-led multilateral humanitarian mission kicked off this year’s iteration of the Pacific Partnership 2019 on Monday.
The Philippines is one of the mission stops, along with Malaysia, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Thailand, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Vietnam.
The Philippine leg was launched in Tacloban City, the second time it will be held there since the mission started in 2014.
“The purpose of PP 2019 is actually to capacitate local government units, government agencies and other sectors to be able to respond to disasters without panicking but rather in a calm manner,” said Central Commander Lt. Gen. Noel Clement.
“In return, our foreign partners also learn from our experiences and help in formulating multinational response protocols during disaster,” he said.
This year’s two-week mission is led by U.S. Navy Capt. Randy Van Rossum, Commander of Destroyer Squadron 1, and his staff aboard expeditionary fast transport ships USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) and USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4), the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement.
In this mission, experts in the fields of engineering, medicine, and disaster response will partner with each host country to conduct civic action projects, community health exchanges, medical symposiums, and disaster response training activities.
“This year’s mission is focused on emergency and disaster preparedness, improving capacity of the local government, enhancing regional partnerships, and increasing multilateral operations,” said Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Romualdez. / gsg
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