Recently, the U.S. completed its latest mission to provide humanitarian assistance to the Philippines, as The Hague arbitration prepares to its ruling over the Philippines’ claim against China in the South China Sea.
The Pacific Partnership regularly goes on missions to provide humanitarian assistance as well as medical subject matter expert exchanges, cooperative health engagements, community relations event, and disaster response training. The group helps ensure that partner nations can “collectively and effectively respond when disaster strikes.”
According to the U.S. Navy, the Pacific Partnership had spent the past two weeks in the Philippines, the last five days of which were spent giving assistance in the province of Legazpi. This mission marked the seventh time the Pacific Partnership visited the Philippines since it first came in 2006.
During its visit, medical personnel from the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) conducted subject matter expert exchanges with their Philippine counterparts. They discussed topics such as preventative medicine, blood banking, nursing, and engineering.
The U.S. Navy Seabees and Marines also took part in a number of the engineering projects with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Together, they worked on the construction and renovation of the Mabini water tower, Kinawitan Elementary School, and Comun Elementary School. These schools have now been designated civilian shelters in case of disaster.
While the engagements and joint projects continued, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band “Big Wave” also entertained the crowd with some service members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Music is a tool that we can use to communicate when we don’t speak their language, so the ability to play together was great and it really means a lot to the band,” said Musician 3rd Class Jason Andrews.
Following its mission in the Philippines, the Pacific Partnership are set to make stops in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The said nations are involved in a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.