The USNS Mercy, a hospital ship, has reached the Republic of Palau for the fourth mission stop of Pacific Partnership 24-1.

It is said to be the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission in the Indo-Pacific.

This is the sixth visit of Pacific Partnership to Palau, involving military personnel from Australia, Japan, the UK, Germany, and New Zealand in activities such as engineering, disaster response, public health, and host nation outreach.

US Ambassador to the Republic of Palau Joel Ehrendreich said: “The United States is committed to the people of Palau as we share deep ties and a long-standing friendship that spans decades.

“Pacific Partnership allows us to work shoulder-to-shoulder as friends and partner nations to collectively grow our ability to quickly respond to disasters or medical emergencies, if and when that comes to the Indo-Pacific region.”

The USNS Mercy, stationed off Koror, carries a team of 750 and is equipped with advanced medical facilities.

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During this mission at Palau, the Pacific Partnership team will provide free community health services in Koror, Peleliu, and Babeldaob, including optometry, dentistry, and chronic disease screenings.

These services will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with updates available on the U.S. Embassy Koror Facebook page.

Surgeons on the USNS Mercy will perform operations after patient pre-screening coordinated with the Palau Ministry of Health.

Medical providers will also conduct training at Palau’s Belau National Hospital in trauma, obstetric, and neonatal emergencies.

U.S. Joint Region Marianas senior military official for the Republic of Palau Rear Admiral Greg Huffman said: “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to President Whipps, his staff and the entire Palau community for the support they have provided this mission.

“The trust built through collaborative exercises like Pacific Partnership strengthen our shared capacity and deepen our special strategic partnership.

“This mission fosters multilateral cooperation and emphasises a multinational and whole-of-government approach between our countries that continues to promote stability, unity and prosperity in Palau and throughout the region.”

The Pacific Partnership 24-1 mission has completed stops in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, and Pohnpei.

Initiated after the 2004 tsunami, it is now in its 19th iteration, aiming to enhance regional disaster response capabilities and promote friendships in the Indo-Pacific.Top of FormTop of Form

The final stop is scheduled in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.