U.S. NAVY ON HUMANITARIAN MISSION TO KIRIBATI

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Return fishing boat from Solomons, provide medical care

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 27, 2009) – United States Military Sealift Command underway replenishment ship USNS RICHARD E. BYRD (T-AKE 4) is returning the fishing vessel and engine to the fishermen from Tabitteuea, Kiribati, who went missing earlier this year and eventually drifted here.

The fishermen returned home shortly after their arrival in Honiara, but their boat was kept here awaiting an opportunity to be returned to Tarawa on another ship headed there.

The Government of Kiribati requested that USNS RICHARD E. BYRD transport the fishing vessel from Solomon Islands to Kiribati as part of its transit there in support of Pacific Partnership 2009.

Pacific Partnership works by, with and through partner nations, non-governmental organizations and other US government and international agencies to execute a variety of humanitarian civic assistance (HCA) missions in the Pacific Fleet area of responsibility from a ship dedicated to this HCA mission.

For this mission, BYRD has been outfitted with humanitarian civic assistance equipment and supplies and a staff augmented with a robust multi-specialized team of preventive medicine personnel, veterinarians, medical and dental teams and engineering personnel.

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