SATTAHIP, Thailand (NNS) -- Multinational forces embarked aboard Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) and Royal Thai Armed Forces participated in various community service events during Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) mission stop Thailand, May 20-23.
The events held in Thailand included playing games and sports with host nation children, as well as performances from U.S. Pacific Fleet Deep Six Brass Band.
Service sites included Royal Garden Mall, Thanapornwittya School, Baan Kru Boon Chu Development Center for Special Children, Baan KM 5 School, Mahidol Dockyard Area Sports Complex, and Thung Kha School.
Royal Australian Navy Leading Seaman Bruce McIntyre, a drummer embedded with the band, noted that his favorite aspect was "...the warm welcome given to us by all the audiences, whether it has been a mix of tourists and locals at the mall, or children at the development center who even helped me play the drums on one occasion."
"Our partners from the Thai military have also been great," McIntyre added. "They deliver a high-energy program of traditional games and songs before each of our school performances."
Community service events allow service members an opportunity to interact and build relationships with people of the host nation.
"[Community service] events are an effective way to build friendships with our host nations," said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Brown, a chaplain assigned to PP18 who helped coordinate the events. "These children are the future generation and by doing events like this we will leave a lasting memory with them."
Although having been a partner nation in the past, PP18 marks the first time Thailand has been a host nation for Pacific Partnership.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. PP18's objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.
PP18 consists of more than 500 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.
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