PORT KLANG: USNS Mercy, the US San Diego-based hospital ship, today made its second port call to Malaysia as part of the ongoing Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) mission.
During the five-day visit that ends this Friday, the crew will engage in civil engineering projects, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) preparedness seminars and community outreach engagements in the greater Kuala Lumpur area.
PP18 Mission Commander Capt David Bretz said PP18 is the largest annual multilateral disaster response preparedness exercise in the Indo-Pacific region designed to help the partner and host nations to prepare for natural disasters in the Pacific along the Ring of Fire.
"Our Malaysian partners offer a multitude of opportunities to grow our shared capabilities in medical, civil engineering and disaster relief preparedness," he told reporters when met after the arrival of the ship at Boustead Cruise Centre's terminal here, early today.
Also present was Assistant Chief of Staff J7, First Admiral Chan Peng Cheong, Joint Forces Headquarters.
The PP18 team this year includes military and civilian personnel from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Peru and Japan.
The mission consists of more than 800 United States and partner nation civil-military personnel working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian and disaster response situations.
Meanwhile, Bretz said another ship, the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick would arrive in Tawau, Sabah on April 21 for a series of civil engineering, medical and outreach engagements with the local community and Royal Malaysian Armed Forces as part of the secondary mission platform for PP.
The 70,000-tonne USNS Mercy, which can carry up to 65 civil service mariners and 1,215 naval medical personnel, first came to this region to render aid when a tsunami devastated parts of South and South-east Asia in December 2004.