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Military ready for Pacific Partnership 2012

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will host the largest annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission in the Pacific sponsored by the US Pacific Fleet. 

The Pacific Partnership 2012 will focus on the province of Samar from June 18 to July 1 with the conduct of civic action programs and humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) activities.

This year’s partner nations will include Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea, Chile, Peru, and Netherlands, the AFP said in a statement. 

Foreign non-government organizations (NGO) like the Project Hope, Oceanit, World Vets, and Vietnam Medical Assistance Program will also join local NGOs in the implementation of engineering civic action programs; medical civic action programs, dental civic action programs, and veterinary civic action programs; and HADR lectures and seminars.

The AFP will also maximize the participation of reservists in the conduct of Pacific Partnership 2012 as part of the AFP Chief of Staff General Jessie D. Dellosa’s directive to mobilize reservists and highlight their roles in the implementation of humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and other civil military operations.

This has also been the case with the successful implementation of the “territorial battalion” of the 24th Infantry Battalion in Zambales where reservists joined regular soldiers to form Bayanihan Patrol Teams where they were involved in providing community services, developmental activities, rescue and relief operations, medical and dental mission assistance, environmental protection engagements, youth leadership seminars and civil military activities.

The Pacific Partnership 2012 was rooted from humanitarian initiatives following the tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004 and killed more than 200,000 people. It was developed by the US Navy in a “whole of government” approach of American policy in the Pacific.

The Pacific Partnership 2012 will adopt the motto, “Prepare in Calm to Respond in Crisis” in addressing necessary precautions in calamity prone countries in the Pacific. 

The AFP Central Command will organize and inter-agency task force that is expected to include the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard, and local government units to ensure close coordination and security in the activities.

Meanwhile, Dellosa welcomed the Pacific Partnership 2012 as another means to expand partnership and cooperation with foreign nations. 

“The Pacific Partnership 2012 will come with a vast source of opportunities in building strong and stable relationships with our foreign partners,” said Dellosa.

“There will also be opportunities for our soldiers, particularly our engineers and reservists, to expand their knowledge with new approaches in the conduct of humanitarian, disaster response, community relations, and civic action programs that are important as we continue to innovate our preparations for the different tests and challenges that come our way,” Dellosa added.

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Ian Campo Flora | SunStar.Com.Ph | May 19, 2012 | Article Link

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