Peleliu Deploys on Pacific Partnership Mission
Story Number: NNS070524-15
Release Date: 5/24/2007 6:35:00 PM
From USS Peleliu Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Multi-purpose amphibious ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) departed San Diego on May 23, kicking off the humanitarian mission Pacific Partnership.
Pacific Partnership brings together host nation medical personnel, partner nation military medical personnel and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide medical, dental, construction and other humanitarian-assistance programs ashore and afloat in Southeast Asia and Oceania.
The four-month deployment continues the long tradition of U.S. Navy support of humanitarian-assistance operations throughout the world and reflects American compassion for the people of the Western Pacific region with whom Americans share common bonds.
Prior to the ship's departure, Vice Adm. Samuel Locklear, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, addressed the crew in the ship’s hangar about the significance of the deployment. He also talked about the pride he felt in sending Peleliu on such an important mission – a mission to ensure improvement of both America’s and the host nation partners’ quality of life and relationships.
“We and our families see what goes on around the world on TV every night, and this is our chance to make a positive impact on the long struggle currently going on (in the world),” Locklear said. “I am very proud of what you’re about to do. I wish I could go with you.”
The deployment will strengthen the good will forged between the host nation partners, American forces and NGOs during previous assistance missions, such as the 2004 tsunami, earthquake relief efforts and the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) deployment in 2006.
Throughout the Pacific Partnership mission, Peleliu will serve as an enabling platform through which military and NGOs can coordinate and carry out humanitarian efforts. The same flexibility and configuration that makes Peleliu an effective warship also makes it an extraordinarily effective ship for performing humanitarian assistance missions.
Peleliu will visit areas based on host-nation agreements, medical and engineering priorities and where port or anchorage facilities can support the mission.
The Pacific Partnership humanitarian mission is commanded by Capt. Robert Stewart, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31. The commanding officer of USS Peleliu is Capt. Ed Rhoades. The medical contingent commander is Capt. Scott Flinn, force surgeon, commander, Naval Surface Forces.
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