New Zealand Defence Force personnel have shared lessons drawn from responses to recent disasters as they take part in Pacific Partnership 16, the largest multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission being held in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
17 August 2016
New Zealand Defence Force personnel have shared lessons drawn from responses to recent disasters as they take part in the largest multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) preparedness mission being held in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
“The Pacific Partnership mission, which is in its 11th year, provides an excellent platform for knowledge exchange, relationship-building and side-by-side training,” said Wing Commander (WGCDR) Michelle White, NZDF Senior National Officer and Chief of Staff for Pacific Partnership 2016. “It has helped partner nations to cooperate more closely and enhance their ability to work alongside each other.
“Natural disasters are a constant concern in the region, which is commonly referred to as the ‘ring of fire’. Through the five lines of effort – engineering, medical, HADR, women, peace and security, and community relations – Pacific Partnership seeks to work with partner nations in the region to better prepare and respond to natural disasters,” WGCDR White said.
“One of the ways we are doing this is to work alongside host nations, military forces and civilian non-governmental organisations to share experiences and understand each other better, so that we can work together more effectively in times of crisis.”
Major (MAJ) Andrew Brooks, the deputy lead for the mission’s HADR activities, said Pacific Partnership participants took part recently in a simulated maritime emergency exercise in Da Nang City, in Vietnam, which involved managing mass casualties.
The drill, which involved more than 150 host-nation and Pacific Partnership personnel, was held on the Han River and on hospital ship USNS Mercy, the command ship for Pacific Partnership 16.
“Field exercises help improve partner nations’ ability to manage and respond to natural disasters, while enhancing our ability to work collaboratively in response to crises,” MAJ Brooks said.
This year’s Pacific Partnership mission involves more than 900 military and civilian personnel from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. Mission stops are scheduled in Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Palau and Indonesia.