The people of the Solomon Islands and members of Pacific Partnership 2015 celebrated the completion of a successful two-week mission by the Military Sealift Command joint high speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) on Saturday July 24.
Millinocket and embarked Task Forager provided medical, engineering, veterinary and dental support to Guadalcanal and Maliata citizens.
“Just two weeks ago we began our mission in the Solomon Islands and today we stand proud of what we achieved together as a team,” said Commodore, Task Force Forager, Capt. James Meyer, during a reception celebrating the completion of work in the Solomon Islands. “This mission could not have been accomplished without the joint efforts of everyone here tonight.”
The leadership of the Solomon Islands expressed their gratitude for all the assistance brought by Pacific Partnership 2015 personnel.
“We thank you so much for everything you have done for this country,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Milner Tozaka. “What you have done will continue to improve the lives of our people even after you have left our shores.”
Seabees and Marines spent 12 days renovating Vura Primary School to improve the learning environment for the 450 students who attend the school.
The medical teams trained more than 160 Solomon Island medical professionals, famers, and police. They saw over 560 patients, 51 animals and distributed over 420 spectacles.
“The accomplishment of our medical team has been spectacular as they built capacity and capability in both Auki, Maliata and here in Honiara,” Meyer said.
Meyer also spoke of the warm welcome they received in the Solomon Islands and how the youth of the nation left an impression on him.
“I’ve noticed that what sets the Solomon Islands apart from the other countries we have visited on Pacific Partnership is the youth’s eagerness to learn, the adult’s enthusiasm to hone their skills and use our training after we leave,” he said. “Your kindness and hospitality has touched everyone on our team.”
Millinocket departed the Solomon Islands July 26 and is en route to the Philippines to continue the Pacific Partnership 2015 mission.
Task Force Forager is led by an expeditionary command element from the Navy’s 30th Naval Construction Regiment (30 NCR) from Port Hueneme, California. Millinocket is currently serving as the secondary platform for Pacific Partnership 2015. The primary platform for the mission is the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). Now in its 10th iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region.
While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, the mission has provided critical infrastructure developments to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects.