USS Pearl Harbor Arrives in Samoa for First Mission Port of Pacific Partnership 2013

Story Number: NNS130531-21Release Date: 5/31/2013 4:20:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Samantha J. Webb

APIA, Samoa (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) arrived in Apia, the first mission port of Pacific Partnership 2013, June 1.

A multinational, multiagency team of U.S. service members, partner nation military and non-governmental organization volunteers are scheduled to work at the invitation of the Samoan people, on a variety of projects to include school renovations, health fairs and water catchment construction.

U. S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jessica Craig will participate as an optician's assistant helping assess patients' suitability for corrective eyewear. She is enthusiastic about beginning the mission.

"I'm a little nervous," said Craig, "but I'm glad I'm here."

"Everyone in the crew wants to get the mission moving," said Lt. Jeremy L. Watkins, 2013 Pacific Partnership operations officer.

Samoa is the first of several scheduled mission ports including: Tonga, Republic of The Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands.

The goal of the mission is to improve security and sustainable development through cooperation with the Oceana region, as well as with Australia and New Zealand. It also aims to ensure freedom of navigation and to address other important regional challenges such as climate change and illegal fishing.

"Every day the planning and integration between all the partners and different branches of service gets better and better and I think we're all learning a lot from each other," said Watkins.

This is the eighth iteration of Pacific Partnership, and it will build on the foundation of previous missions while demonstrating a continued commitment to the Oceania region. Samoa has worked well with the Pacific Partnership planning team.

"We're ready to help grow their capacity to respond to disaster when necessary," Watkins said.

This will be the first Pacific Partnership mission where partner nations lead individual phases. Australia will lead in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand will lead in both Kiribati and Solomon Islands, and the United States will lead in Samoa, Tonga and the Marshall Islands.

6/3/2013 6:24:00 PM
Hi to the Capatain and Crew. My wife and I had the privilage to tour your fine ship yesterday and we loved it The officer that conducted the tour was a gentleman and the young woman that assisted him were very helpful in answering our many queries. We are here in Samoa for 18 months to help at the Pesega High School to teach trade skills and we aplaude your help to aid the health of the Samoan people. Well done and thank you. Neil and Barbara Goodlet from Western Australia

6/3/2013 8:47:00 AM
A partnership that is essential for boost relationship between conuntries on pacific are, mantaining commercial and cultural activities, avoid potential tangible risks of war, that should disrupt all conquered on these years.A partenrship by whom all depend on terms of security and normal live claudio alpaca

6/3/2013 6:41:00 AM
brilliant, I am pleased that there is finally a tangible security plan

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Royal Australian Navy Lt. Steve Grosser relays information to U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Laura Blanco at a medical meeting aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52).
130531-N-WD757-037 PACIFIC OCEAN (May 31, 2013) Royal Australian Navy Lt. Steve Grosser relays information to U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Laura Blanco at a medical meeting aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) during Pacific Partnership 2013. Pacific Partnership is the largest disaster response-preparation mission in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The mission contributes to stability and security by opening dialogue between leaders, fostering friendships, and building mutual trust and respect, while ensuring that the international community is better prepared to work together as a coordinated team when a regional disaster strikes. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II/Released)
May 31, 2013
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