The USNS Mercy stopped in six Southeast Asian countries to provide medical and dental care to the local population, and assist in disaster preparation projects. The annual Pacific Partnership mission grew out of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that devastated coastal areas around the Indian Ocean.
Crew and members of aid organizations took part in disaster relief exercises at three locations around Padang, according to the Navy.
“The ultimate goal was to be a part of helping build resiliency to the effects of all hazards events,” said Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Rice, chief of staff for the mission.
“That is to say, we want to see our regional partners be able to respond quickly and effectively to a natural disaster and then be able to bounce back post-disaster,” Rice said. “Testing standard operating procedures and exercising command and control nodes in a simulated disaster allows all of us to identify gaps or shortcomings now, before we are faced with doing it during a real event.”
Engineers also built a community center and evacuation road.
The Mercy, which left San Diego on May 11, previously stopped in Timor Leste, the Philippines, Vietnam, Palau and Malaysia.
Personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom took part in Pacific Partnership.
The Coronado-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 accompanied the Mercy.
— City News Service
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