The National, Tuesday 14th May 2013
By MOUA OMOA
THE United States Pacific Fleet’s annual Pacific Partnership mission known to Papua New Guineans as the USNS hospital ship will visit the country this month.
The mission in the Oceania region will be over four months.
US Navy Capt Wallace Lovely, commander of Hawaii-based destroyer squadron, will lead this year’s mission on the amphibious ship USS Pearl Harbour.
Working at the invitation of each host nation, US Navy will be joined by non-governmental organisations and regional partners, including Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand.
The Australian ship HMAS Tobruk and the New Zealand’s HMNZS Canterbury will also serve as command platforms.
Lovely said this year’s mission would be different because partner nations “will individually lead different phases”.
“Australia will lead Papua New Guinea, New Zealand will lead Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, and the United States will lead in Samoa, Tonga and the Marshall Islands,” he said in a statement.
Lovely said partner naval forces and government agencies, NGOs and the host nation were focused on utilising professionals in medicine, dentistry, veterinary, public health services, engineering and disaster response.
No date was available for the arrival of the hospital ship in PNG.