Pacific Partnership-2018 concludes in Trincomalee
'USNS Mercy' departs the island
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)
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
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
In a lighter note, the US 7th Fleet Band together with
the SL Navy entertained crowds including school children during the
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