Pacific Partnership Partners with Project Handclasp

Story Number: NNS090408-16Release Date: 4/8/2009 3:11:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Rialyn Rodrigo, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Pacific Partnership mission commander visited the Project Handclasp Global Logistics Center warehouse in San Diego April 3 to continue the partnership between the two organizations for this year's mission.

Capt. Andrew Cully, the Pacific Partnership 2009 mission commander, visited the warehouse to better understand what types of things Project Handclasp can send on this year's humanitarian civic assistance mission to Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Tonga.

"There will be a Project Handclasp ceremony [in] every nation we are visiting, and we are trying to figure out the best fit," said Cully. He said he is using information gathered during pre-deployment site surveys to each nation to ensure the Project Handclasp donations meet the needs of people receiving them.

Project Handclasp was established in 1962. Its mission is to provide material from the private sector, primarily humanitarian, educational and goodwill supplies to be distributed by Sailors directly to people in need in ports around the world.

"We always try to be flexible to provide the best load we can for every possible ship," said Paul Brown, director of Project Handclasp. "It's very flexible in terms of what material comes in and what ships are leaving, in what order and how we can best serve them. We try to make the best fit for each particular deployment."

Pacific Partnership works by, with and through partner nations, non-governmental organizations and other U.S. government agencies to execute a variety of humanitarian civic action (HCA) missions in the Pacific Fleet area of responsibility from a ship dedicated to this HCA mission. The fourth Pacific Partnership mission will deploy on board USS Dubuque (LPD 8), an amphibious transport dock ship, configured with humanitarian civic assistance equipment and supplies and a robust multi-specialized team of preventive medicine personnel, veterinarians, medical and dental teams and engineering personnel.

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