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US hospital ship arrives for 2015 medical mission

Update: August, 18/2015 - 09:56
The hospital ship USNS Mercy and the high speed USNS Millinocket from the US Pacific Fleet arrived at the central city's Tien Sa Port yesterday, beginning the US-led Pacific Partnership 2015 mission (PP15). — Photo baodanang.vn

DA NANG (VNS) — The hospital ship USNS Mercy and the high speed USNS Millinocket from the US Pacific Fleet arrived at the central city's Tien Sa Port yesterday, beginning the US-led Pacific Partnership 2015 mission (PP15).

This year marks the sixth time a Pacific Partnership mission has visited Viet Nam.

Captain Chris Engdahl, mission commander for the PP15, said: "This is the sixth time the US has visited Viet Nam in the 10 years we have been conducting the Pacific Partnership. The visit by Mercy and Millinocket to Viet Nam also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the US and Viet Nam."

"We look forward to working with our Vietnamese partners to fully understand the dynamics of preparing for disaster relief in this modern urban environment and furthering the partnership between our nations," he added.

He said Viet Nam was the last stop on this year's Pacific Partnership mission prog-ramme after Fiji, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands and the Philippines.

The PP15 is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. This is the first time the mission has featured two US navy vessels.

The programme will focus on knowledge exchanges between the two countries that can be used after the mission concludes. The 11-day programme will include medical exchanges between PP15 officers and local medical personnel, covering cardiology, restorative care/burns, critical care nursing, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, physical medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, spinal cord injury, nutrition, pre-hospital care/coastal and water injuries at sea and battlefield trauma care/medical evacuation.

Lifeguards, certified rescue swimmers and instructors will also train alongside Vietnamese lifeguards in East Sea Park, while a disaster drill will be carried out including a simulated rescue of personnel from the water, stabilizing patients ashore and transporting them to a ship after initial treatment. US engineers will also help with the refurbishment of a centre for disadvantaged children and the Hoa Quy Medical Centre. — VNS

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