Australian defense force joins Pacific Partnership 2022 in PHL

Military officers with city officials at the opening ceremony.

PUERTO PRINCESA—Australia has commenced its involvement in the Philippines for Pacific Partnership 2022.

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region, with Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel joining partners from the Philippine and United States to provide specialized support to the mission.

Some 15 ADF personnel will be involved in the mission, with a team of medical specialists arriving to join ADF gender, peace and security advisers already on-board the US’s military sealift-command hospital ship USNS Mercy.

During its two-week visit to the country the ADF contingent will provide tailored medical, dental and surgical support; as well as guidance on gender, peace and security considerations for operations while participating in a variety of training opportunities and information exchanges.

Air Vice-Marshal Michael Kitcher AM, DSM, who is the deputy chief of joint operations, said the ADF’s support to Pacific Partnership 2022 is about enhancing resilience and preparedness in the Indo-Pacific region: “ADF participation in Pacific Partnership 2022 demonstrates our commitment to fostering enduring [ties], trust and interoperability between nations in our region.”

“Covid-19 restrictions meant we haven’t been able to fully participate in the program since 2019, so it’s a great [way] to once again work closely with partner and host nations, learning from one another and building [capacities] within the region,” Kitcher added. “This is an important opportunity to enhance our interoperability with other nations, and demonstrate that we remain ready to respond, with our partners, if and when our regional neighbors need our help.”

Entering its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is aimed at promoting multilateral disaster-management resilience in host countries and strengthening alliances.

Image credits: Australian Embassy


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