The Embassy of the United States of America today welcomed the US Pacific Fleet and its transport ship USNS Fall River for the first-ever Pacific Partnership goodwill mission to Sri Lanka from March 6-18.
Working side-by-side with the Sri Lanka Navy and local organizations in the Hambantota region, this multinational effort includes free community health clinics; school and hospital renovations; learning exchanges for medical and disaster-relief responders; seminars to promote women’s roles in peace and security; and public performances by the U.S. 7th Fleet Band.
“Through this Pacific Partnership mission, the United States will continue to help Sri Lanka respond more quickly to humanitarian challenges. At the same time, our Sri Lankan partners will share with us their valuable lessons learned from past natural disasters,” said U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap.
Pacific Partnership is the largest multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted each year in the Indo-Pacific region. Military and civilian experts from Australia and Japan will participate in the exercise along with the United States and Sri Lanka.
The Pacific Partnership medical teams will join Sri Lankan doctors and nurses for training at the General Hospital and Nurses Training School in Hambantota, the Tissamaharama Base Hospital, as well as other local clinics and hospitals. Free public medical and dental clinics in select cities will also be conducted by mission doctors and nurses.
“We are excited to be working with our friends in Hambantota and throughout the greater region during Pacific Partnership’s first visit to Sri Lanka,” said Captain Stanfield Chien, Pacific Partnership mission commander. “Our time in Sri Lanka is about building relationships and the capability and capacity to work together for the future.”
In addition, local Sri Lankan organizations, working together with U.S. Navy civil engineers, will complete renovations of the Ambalantota Divisional Hospital, Wishaka Mahila Preschool, Sri Gunananda Preschool, and multiple Maternity and Child Clinic Centers. The U.S. 7th Fleet Band will also hold joint public concerts at the Galle Fort (March 9), Tangalle City Center (March 10), Hambantota Beach Park (March 11), Bata Atha Agro Park (March 13), Matara Beach Park (March 14), and several area schools. (Colombo Gazette)