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Pacific Partnership 2022 crew participates in Sports Day Host Nation Outreach Events

11 July 2022

From Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi

VIETNAM - Pacific Partnership 2022 crew members participated in five Host Nation Outreach Events (HNOE) Sports Days during USNS Mercy’s (T-AH 19) visit to Vietnam. Approximately 122 Pacific Partnership crew members, including representatives from Australia and the United Kingdom, and 800 Vietnamese participants played soccer and volleyball during the mission stop in Vietnam.

The HNOEs served as a way for the partner and host nations to come together and foster relationships and create enduring friendships that will continue long after the mission concludes.

“The Pacific Partnership team was truly grateful to take part in a day of sports at Mientrung University,” said Lt. Steven Szelmeczki, a U.S. Navy chaplain and Pacific Partnership 2022 HNOE planner. “We engaged in friendly games of soccer and volleyball where the Vietnamese showcased their athleticism against our squads, but we had tons of fun in the process.”

Not only do these events promote camaraderie between nations, but they also allow junior Sailors the opportunity to create experiences that will last for years to come. Equipment Operator 2nd Class Hung Ho, a Vietnam native, said he was proud to participate in such an amazing event in his native country while serving in the U.S. Navy.

“Soccer is my favorite sport because I love playing it,” said Ho. “I enjoyed being a part of the event and am ecstatic to be a first-generation Vietnamese American in my family to serve in the military, especially in the U.S. Navy. I feel deeply honored to be able to represent USNS Mercy and participate in a friendly soccer game with the local community during Pacific Partnership 2022 and wear our uniform.”

Pacific Partnership is in its 17th year and is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission that is conducted in the Indo-Pacific region.

For more information about the Pacific Partnership mission and USNS Mercy, visit:
https://www.facebook.com/pacificpartnership or https://www.facebook.com/USNSMercy, or https://www.msc.usff.navy.mil/ships/mercy/.

 

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