CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Eleven Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 Seabees returned to their homeport, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Calif., following a four-month deployment aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy Sept. 6, 2008, as part of exercise Pacific Partnership 2008.
Pacific Partnership 2008 began May 1 to provide humanitarian assistance in the Southeast Asia region. Pacific Partnership provided engineering, medical and dental assistance to host-nations in the region, building upon relationships established in past missions.
Missions were conducted in the Republic of Philippines, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Federated States of Micronesia.
"We made a lot of friendships that are going to last forever," said Engineman 3rd Class Raymond Hilliard, from Palm Bay, Fla.
Hilliard was one of eleven ACB-1 Seabees that volunteered to participate in this year's exercise. Pacific Partnership gave him and 10 other ACB-1 Seabees the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others as well as their own.
"We were fixing up this rehabilitation center in Vietnam. There was this little girl that was blind and deaf. It's just good to know that we were fixing that place up for kids like her," said Hilliard, as he shared one of his personal experiences of Pacific Partnership 2008. "They're going to remember us and we're definitely going to remember them."
For more news from Naval Base Coronado, visit www.navy.mil/local/Coronado/.