News: JCSE embarks on mission supporting Operation Pacific Partnership 2012
SAN DIEGO — On May 1, 2012, seven members of the Joint Communications Support Element, a subordinate command of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, embarked on the USNS Mercy to begin a four-and-a-half month deployment supporting Operation Pacific Partnership 2012.
This annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission, led by U.S. Pacific Fleet, began in 2004 following the devastating tsunami that impacted numerous countries in Southeast Asia. Since then, Operation Pacific Partnership has become the largest mission of its type in the Asia-Pacific region and is conducted in partnership with various host nations, non-governmental organizations and U.S. and international government agencies.
The JCSE members supporting this year’s mission are assigned to the 224th Joint Communications Support Squadron, the Georgia Air National Guard unit aligned with JCSE. Throughout the duration of Operation Pacific Partnership, they will be responsible for providing capabilities such as unclassified and classified network access, voice, video and radio communications while on the ship and in the various ports throughout the deployment.
This year, Operation Pacific Partnership will visit Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, each for two weeks, to bring medical, dental, veterinary, engineering and environmental assistance and stability to the countries. Similar to a land-based hospital, the USNS Mercy is capable of supporting the full range of surgical and medical services which will be employed as part of Operation Pacific Partnership.
U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John Vining, the JCSE lead for the mission, spoke of one example of how JCSE capabilities will assist Operation Pacific Partnership’s medical personnel in pre-screening and X-raying patients on shore before bringing them aboard USNS Mercy for further procedures.
“Previously there wasn’t a good way to send those images to the ship for evaluation prior to transporting patients,” he explained. “With JCSE’s capabilities we’ll be able to extend communications from the shore to the ship and transfer the images in a matter of seconds.”
For JCSE members, the opportunity to expand their communication skill sets in a joint environment while contributing to the well-being of the host nation residents brings an added level of appreciation for the mission.
“Most of the team has deployed for multiple missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, but the humanitarian aspect of this operation means a lot to the troops,” Vining explained. “Additionally, an extended deployment aboard a ship and working with other branches of service will greatly enhance our expertise.”
JCSE, which has supported similar missions with U.S. Southern Command during Operation Continuing Promise in 2010 and 2011, is looking forward to broadening its knowledge of tactical communications in the unique environment offered by Operation Pacific Passage. Additionally, the seven JCSE members chosen for this mission are extremely pleased to contribute to an operation that promotes goodwill in the Asia-Pacific region.
The overall objective of Operation Pacific Partnership is to support the host nations in creating and sustaining programs that are viable during emergency relief efforts to ultimately build a secure, stable Pacific region. U.S. Navy Capt. Jim Morgan, the Operation Pacific Partnership 2012 mission commander, explains it best in his mission motto, “Preparing in Calm to Respond in Crisis.”
Date Posted:05.15.2012 09:32
Location:SAN DIEGO, CA, US
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