PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP 2012
Pacific Partnership is an annual deployment of forces from the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy (USN), in cooperation with regional governments and military forces, along with humanitarian and non-government organisations.
The deployment was conceived following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
It aims to improve the interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organisations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to Pacific nations, and strengthening relationships and security ties between the nations.
The deployment is typically based around an amphibious warfare vessel or hospital ship of the USN's Pacific Fleet.
Other nations regularly contribute to the deployment; the Australian Defence Force has provided assets since the first deployment in 2006. Seven nations, along with other branches of the United States Armed Forces, US government agencies, and non-government organisations, were involved in Pacific Partnership 2011.
By agreement, every Pacific Partnership mission will abort the planned exercises and steam for an actual emergency if tragedy should strike the South Pacific during the scheduled mission.
Pacific Partnership 2012 will deliver engineering and medical aid to Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Thirty-seven Australian Defence Force will participate in the exercise from 23 May – 11 August 2012, joining personnel from the United States, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and Thailand.
Pacific Partnership 2012 is supported by USNS Mercy, one of America’s premier hospital ships, which will be the platform for up to 1,000 medical, engineering, technical, and administrative personnel, including several hundred volunteers.
Japan will provide a companion ship in two locations - Philippines and Vietnam - with complete medical teams, helicopters and Japanese volunteer organisations.