December 3, 2023
The USNS Mercy steams out of San Diego Bay on Tuesday. Navy picture by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Negron

The Navy Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy departed Naval Base San Diego on Tuesday on a humanitarian mission to the western Pacific Ocean.

The floating 1,000-bed hospital will participate within the nineteenth Pacific Partnership train and make stops within the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Navy consultants in engineering, drugs and catastrophe response will accomplice with every nation to conduct civic initiatives, group well being exchanges, medical symposiums, and catastrophe response coaching actions.

The Pacific Partnership, which started in response to the lethal 2004 tsunami, is the most important annual multilateral catastrophe response preparedness mission carried out within the Indo-Pacific area.

“The Pacific Partnership mission groups work collectively annually with host and accomplice nations to strengthen present regional interoperability, and improve disaster-response capability,” mentioned Rear Adm. Mark A. Melson.

“I’m honored to be a part of this yr’s mission as a result of this annual mission helps improve safety and stability within the area, whereas fostering new and enduring friendships within the Indo-Pacific,” he mentioned.

The partnership emphasizes U.S. dedication to the area amid China’s efforts to say quite a few Pacific islands as its territory.