U.S. HOSPITAL SHIP ‘MERCY’ WRAPS UP PACIFIC TOUR

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Chuuk is last call in ‘Pacific Partnership 2008’

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Aug. 25, 2008) – The naval hospital ship USNS Mercy has reached the end of her humanitarian mission "Pacific Partnership 2008" in the western pacific region.

Last week Friday, the vessel and her crew arrived in Chuuk.

The crew of the USNS Mercy is comprised of U.S. military, partner-nation representatives and non-governmental organizations (NGO).

The team, which is scheduled to spend approximately 10 days in Micronesia, is being carried out in conjunction with the NGOs and in close coordination and partnership with local medical care professionals. Volunteers from Project Hope and University of California at San Diego Pre-dental society, and medical specialists from Canada and India are also in the region to provide service.

As well, a team of naval engineers from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 and Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 will conduct repair and construction projects ashore, some of which are in place to improve medical and sanitary conditions.

Aside from the mission in Chuuk, an advanced team of 26 medical personnel and 20 Seabees are conducting humanitarian assistance on the islands of Pohnpei and Yap. The Pacific Partnership 2008 humanitarian mission has also included visits to the Republic of the Philippines, Vietnam, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.

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