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Pacific Partnership-2018 concludes in Trincomalee

Pacific Partnership-2018 concludes in Trincomalee

'USNS Mercy' departs the island

[May 11 2018]

The Sri Lankan leg of the Pacific Partnership-2018 (PP) mission came to a close in Trincomalee, on Tuesday (08th May). The PP-18 commenced with the arrival of US Navy Ship, 'Mercy' at the Eastern sea port city on 25th last month (April).

'USNS Mercy', the Military Sealift Command hospital ship of the United States Navy arrived in the island to take part in the annual multilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission.

PP-18 is the largest annual multilateral HA/DR preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, aiming to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for contingencies and disaster situations.

The mission saw, U.S and partner nation service members and civilian personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru and United Kingdom involving in civil engineering projects HA/DR readiness drills and other civic outreach programmes together with host nation professionals.

24 medical surgeries including a robotic surgery were performed by US and Sri Lankan doctors onboard the US hospital ship. The robotic surgery was the first in the world.

In addition more than 5500 patients were treated at medical clinics conducted at various locations in the Trincomalee region while over 500 veterinary surgeries and vaccinations were also administered.

In a lighter note, the US 7th Fleet Band together with the SL Navy entertained crowds including school children during the programmes.

The conclusion of the annual programme was signified by a ceremony graced by the Eastern Province Governor, Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director General Operations of the Navy, Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, senior state officials and SL Navy and participating Navy officers.

'USNS Mercy' left the country for her next port call in Vietnam and Japan.

The Pacific Partnership is one of the engagements signed and agreed between the US and Sri Lanka Navies during the first USN-SLN Operational Dialogue in 2016.

The US Naval Ship 'Fall River' made the initial mission stop at Hambantota in the Southern part of the island in March 2017.

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