USNS Mercy Arrives in Timor-Leste
By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Gaines
Pacific Partnership 2010
DILI, Timor-Leste, Aug. 12, 2010 The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy arrived here yesterday for its final Pacific Partnership 2010 mission port.
The Mercy is joined by two Australian heavy landing craft, Labuan and Tarakan.
While in Dili, Pacific Partnership 2010 will offer a variety of medical and dental civic action programs, engineering civic action programs, community service projects, and shipboard surgeries to the people of Timor-Leste.
“This is Mercy’s last port for the mission, and the level of excitement from the newly embarked contingent of medical and engineering professionals is contagious,” said Navy Capt. Lisa M. Franchetti, Pacific Partnership 2010 mission commander. “It’s also wonderful to hear that many Timorese remember Mercy from its previous visits.”
Medical civic action programs in Dili and five other districts across the country will offer basic medical care to the local population.
“We’re also extending the reach of Pacific Partnership 2010 to locations beyond the immediate area of where we anchor,” Franchetti said. “We are sending medical teams to Lautem, Oecussi Same, Soibada and Suai for a few days each, greatly enhancing the capabilities of the local health care infrastructure.”
Engineering civic action programs in the region will focus on renovation of the Nu Laran School in Dili. The renovations will include concrete repair, building of a bathroom facility, and the renovation of six classroom buildings and a perimeter fence.
Community service projects also are scheduled throughout Pacific Partnership 2010’s 13-day visit to Timor-Leste, including visits to schools and orphanages, a field repair to Dili stadium, and a soccer match between Mercy personnel and the a team from the country’s youth and sport ministry.
Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance endeavors aimed at strengthening regional partnerships among U.S. government organizations, host nations, partner nations, and international humanitarian and relief organizations. Mercy has completed the first three Pacific Partnership 2010 mission visits to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia.