31 Jul 2019

British personnel take part in US peace mission in the Indo-Pacific

Personnel from the Royal Navy have played a significant role in a US-led peace mission in the Pacific Rim.

Royal Navy Personnel, a Royal Navy Officer and three medics from the Army, Navy, and RAF, took part in the Pacific Partnership Deployment peace mission to deliver aid and forge relationships. The annual mission came as a response to the devastating Tsunami 13 years ago that affected the Indo-Pacific.

The USNS Fall River and the USNS Brunswick were assigned by the US for this year’s mission with the USNS Brunswick team lead by the Royal Navy. The team included British personnel acting as a disaster relief planner and medical planner.

Captain of Surface Ships in the Devonport Floatilla Captain Paddy Allen said: “Put aside geo-politics and recent history clearly describes – in graphic detail – that the greatest threat in the Indo-Pacific region at present is a natural disaster.”

“Unlike war there tends to be little notice and communities can be decimated, or razed, in a matter of hours.”

“When a disaster strikes, there is always a delay before international assistance kicks in. The Pacific Partnership mission assists nations’ preparation for – and ability to recover from – disaster in its first hours.”

The mission visited the Philippines, Timor Leste, Malaysia, and Thailand. The Brunswick travelled to the region following the recent Typhoon Wutip, visiting some of the worst-affected outer islands.

Medical teams led by British forces provided treatment and helped to resupply small medical dispensaries on the sparsely populated outer islands. The ships spend around two to three weeks in different locations in the region participating in medical operations and offering advice on steps to take in the event of natural disasters.

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