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.
Scott, from Canberra, has spent six weeks on the ground in Wewak and Vanimo as the officer in charge of the advance party for Pacific Partnership 2013.
HMAS Tobruk has transported personnel throughout the mission with large contingents stepping ashore daily to complete aid work.
Scott supported the Pacific Partnership program ashore which has seen medical, dental, veterinary, environmental health and engineering aid to the townships on the northern coast of PNG.
“My job has been varied throughout the mission,” Scott said.
“I’ve acted as the liaison officer with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force to oversee the planning and implementation of the force protection component of the mission, which is a key part of any overseas deployment,” he added.
Scott said he found coordinating the civil projects ashore the most rewarding part of his deployment.
“I’m very passionate about civil military relations. To be part of a military team that has worked with local communities to help them with small projects has been a highlight of this deployment for me.
The opportunity to support a program that will have ongoing future benefits is a great feeling.” he said.
Scott is looking forward to spending time with his wife Jane and son Cooper in Canberra.
“Whilst I’ve missed my family it’s been great to participate in such a rewarding program, working across services as well as with our host nation, the United States and with Japanese personnel,” he said.
Scott will return to Australia after the completion of the Pacific Partnership 2013.
Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission with Australia being the only country to have participated in every deployment since the program started in 2006.
The multi-national team provided medical and dental aid as well as operating clinics and updating medical training for local practitioners during Pacific Partnership 2013.
Volunteers from Tobruk’s crew have also refurbished sports facilities and public buildings in the two remote townships.
HMAS Tobruk will return from deployment in late July.