Squadron Leader Scott Minchin has had the busy task of managing the movements of more than 300 personnel deployed to Papua New Guinea as part of Pacific Partnership '13.
Tim Inglis of Melville in Perth believes not much beats field work.
Pacific Partnership 2013 is an annual US-sponsored humanitarian and civic assistance mission aimed at strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations in the Asia-Pacific.
This year, Pacific Partnership will deliver assistance including medical, dental, veterinary, explosives disposal and engineering aid to Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Solomon Islands.
The activity runs from 25 May until 19 August.
HMAS Tobruk will travel to Papua New Guinea, while USS Pearl Harbor’s mission covers Samoa, Tonga and the Marshall Islands, and HMNZS Canterbury focuses on Kiribati and Solomon Islands.
Explosive ordnance disposal will be conducted by personnel deployed as part of the New Zealand-led Operation PUKAURUA which is a component of Pacific Partnership 2013.
HMAS Tobruk will assist townships in Vanimo and Wewak with combined populations of about 40,000.
Defence medical specialists will run clinics and health fairs for locals, and updated medical training and assistance to PNG medical practitioners.
Defence engineers will conduct maintenance, repairs and refurbishment to schools, used by nearly 5000 children in Vanimo and Wewak.
Volunteers from HMAS Tobruk’s crew will refurbish sport facilities, memorials and public buildings and assist with fairs to bring awareness of health and hygiene issues.
Five Royal Australian Navy Clearance Divers from Australian Clearance Diving Team 1, at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney will deploy to the Solomon Islands as part of Operation PUKAURUA.
The operation is an enduring bi-annual mission to reduce and dispose of explosive remnants of war left over from World War II in the south-west Pacific.
The Australian Clearance Divers will work with Coalition explosive ordnance disposal specialists to help render safe unexploded ordnance.
Questions about Operation PUKUARUA should be directed to NZDF.
Australia’s contingent commander is Squadron Leader Paul Howard from 452 Squadron, RAAF Base Townsville, who will be embarked on USS Pearl Harbor.
Host nations differ from year to year. During even years, the mission deploys to south-east Asia with USNS Mercy; odd-year missions deploy to the Pacific in USS amphibious and support ships.
This year’s partner nations include the USA, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, France and Malaysia.
By agreement, every Pacific Partnership mission will abort the planned exercises and steam to support an emergency if required.
The goal of Pacific Partnership 2013 is to establish opportunities for multinational crisis response capabilities supporting humanitarian and civic actions.
Through supporting host nation programs and activities that serve local communities, we are increasing our ability to work together to enhance military-civilian coordination among nations and organisations that share a common interest in maintaining a stable and secure Pacific.
The Pacific Partnership series of exercises was conceived following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami as a way to improve the interoperability of the region’s military forces, governments, and humanitarian organisations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific, and strengthening relationships and security ties between the nations.
For more information please visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/pacific-partnership/2013/