News Release

Pacific Partnership 2012

The Pacific Partnership 12 is the largest joint humanitarian mission in the Pacific. The American hospital ship USNS Mercy completed a two-week mission in  the island province of Samar before arriving in Subic Bay and then traveling on to Vietnam and Cambodia, providing medical, dental, veterinary, engineering and civic assistance to thousands.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave more than 50% of the donations of supplies and offered 50% of the volunteers during the Philippines stage of the operation.  Fifty four  Mormon doctors and nurses on board have also volunteered for anywhere from six weeks to three months with the Mercy.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) worked closely with those involved to insure PP12’s success in Visayas this year. In a statement, the AFP said that the USNS Mercy is capable of rapid and mobile acute medical and surgical procedures with a total of 1,000 beds, and they can accommodate 200 patients per day.

Lt. Cmdr. S. Maria Lohmeyer, mission spokesperson, reported, “We evaluated 603 patients and we completed 271 surgeries on board, which is a very large number in such a short time. Many of those were general surgeries. Most involved cataract and hernia operations and fracture repairs.” She also said that the crew conducted animal vaccinations, built four classrooms and renovated a playground and a clinic in Samar while the medical staff was busy with evaluations, surgeries, and eye examinations. 7,000 pairs of prescription eyeglasses were distributed. Medical kits and sports equipment were also donated to Catbalogan City.

The American-Filipino crew members used their five-day “liberty” in Subic to reunite with Filipino relatives and see the country before going on to missions in Vietnam and Cambodia.More than a thousand military men and civilians participated in this mission, coming from nine countries headed by Japan and The United States. Other nations included Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea, Chile, Peru, and the Netherlands. Pacific Partnership12 (PP12) brings together US military personnel, host and partner nations, non-government organizations and international agencies to build stronger relationships and develop disaster response capabilities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Unity, peace, friendship and sharing of culture were the lessons learned from the 14-day medical mission and the more than three months of civic works in Samar. Lt. General Gerardo Layug, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippines Army stated in his closing speech, “This has contributed to the success of the project which was reflective of the ‘bayanihan’ spirit of Filipinos.” He went on to say that dedication to serve the people of Samar also contributed to the success of the project that included the collective effort and full support of all public officials and non-government organizations.

Rear Admiral Matthew Carter, in his closing speech, applauded the humanitarian mission for being a symbol for unity among nations. “Pacific Partnership has brought together the very best military, humanitarian, government and non-government organization that we in the international community can offer,” Carter concluded. He thanked all those who participated and devoted their time to render medical and civic works throughout the duration of the mission that serves as inspiration and the key to its success.

Pacific Partnership 2012 stemmed from humanitarian initiatives following the tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004, killing more than 200,000 people. 


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