The US naval hospital ship USNS
Mercy arrived at the North east Sri Lankan port of Trincomaloee on April 25 th
and remain anchored the port for nearly fifteen days as part of US Pacific partnership 2018 according to Sri
Lankan Media reports.
The presence of a US Naval ship at
the strategic Trtincomalee port is significant in the light of increase
presence of Chinese companies running Sri Lankan ports including Colombo and
Hambantota. Tricomalee port has a large oil dump and India has been eyeing on
this facility for over fortyyears. India would like to partner with Japan to
develop the infrastructure around Trincomallee port for strategic reasons. The
current regime in Colombo had promised India to have a foot hold in Trincomalee port but it remains at the
proposal stage for over three decades.
Pacific Partnership 2018 will
continue through May 8 and will feature U.S. and other military doctors and
medical personnel working side-by-side with Sri Lankan medical professionals to
provide treatment to local communities and exchange best practices.
Additionally, U.S. and partner nation service members will join their Sri
Lankan counterparts in civil engineering projects, humanitarian assistance and
disaster relief (HA/DR) readiness training, and public outreach throughout the
"Pacific Partnership 2018
offers an excellent opportunity for the U.S. and Sri Lankan militaries to serve
Sri Lankans in need and expand our growing partnership in humanitarian and
disaster relief," said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Atul
Keshap. "From medical clinics to free public concerts, our sailors will
bring the best of America to local communities."
The USNS Mercy contains 12
fully-equipped operating rooms, a 1,000 bed hospital facility, digital
radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a
CAT-scan and two oxygen producing plants. The ship is equipped with a
helicopter deck capable of landing large military helicopters. It made previous
stops in the 2018 mission in Bengkulu, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After departing Sri Lanka, the USNS Mercy will make stops in Vietnam and Japan
to strengthen alliances, partnerships, and multilateral cooperation throughout
the Indo-Pacific region.
"I am very excited to see our
team working with side-by-side with the people of Sri Lanka," said Capt.
David Bretz, the mission commander for Pacific Partnership 2018. "Through
Pacific Partnership, we are building bonds of trust, friendship, and
partnership with the Sri Lankan people that will help us prepare together for a
multitude of contingencies that our nations face with man-made and natural
disasters. We are honored to be guests in this country and work beside our Sri
Pacific Partnership is the largest
annual multilateral disaster response preparedness mission conducted in the
Indo-Pacific. This year’s mission includes military and civilian personnel from
the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Peru, and
Japan. Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. and partner
nation military and civilian personnel working side-by-side with host nation
counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster