News: University of Arizona Graduate Participates in Humanitarian Mission
USS CLEVELAND, At Sea – University of Arizona graduate and U.S. Navy Reserve officer Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Bernardi is serving as the Mission Public Affairs Officer aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland.
Cleveland is the lead vessel for Pacific Partnership 2011, an annual humanitarian assistance initiative sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Fleet. This year, Pacific Partnership has completed its mission in Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste. It is currently in the Federated States of Micronesia, the final mission port.
“After serving almost a year during the war in Iraq, this mission is a welcome change,” said Bernardi. “Our doctors, nurses, veterinarians and engineers are changing so many lives for the better.”
U.S. sailors aboard the Cleveland are accompanied by non-government organizations like Project HOPE, Vets Without Borders, and the University of California, San Diego Pre-Dental Society, as well as medical and engineering officers from the Australian, Canadian, Japanese, Malaysian and Spanish militaries.
“Our photographers, videographers and writers have the best job on the ship. We get to bring the stories and images of the people of the South Pacific to the families of our sailors, the people of the host nations we serve and American people at-large,” said Bernardi.
Pacific Partnership developed as a mission following the tsunami in 2004, which devastated Indonesia and much of the South Pacific. Since then, Pacific Partnership has treated 150,000 patients in 15 countries.
Bernardi is the son of Giga Soto, a resident of Tucson, Ariz. He is the husband of Helen Na-Bernardi. They have two sons, Sojin (5) and Suhnny (2).
He graduated from Catalina High School in 1982. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-TV in 1988 and a Master of Arts in Media Arts in 1991 from the University of Arizona.