KUCHING, Malaysia, (April 15, 2017)—Marines, Sailors and civilian mariners with Pacific Partnership 2017 (PP17) offloaded Military Sealift Command’s expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) at Pending Port here, April 15.
The Fall River was carrying personnel and equipment supporting PP17, an annual multilateral humanitarian aid and disaster response preparedness mission that has scheduled stops in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Malaysia is the second mission stop for the Fall River, which recently arrived from Sri Lanka, and will be conducting humanitarian aid and disaster response preparedness exercises, medical exchanges, civil engineering projects and community engagement events throughout Sarawak, Malaysia.
“We have over 3,000 pounds of medical supplies, 20,000 pounds of the Marine Corps’ tactical water purification system, and 4,000 pounds of construction equipment for job sites,” said Navy Lt. David Kelts, mission supply officer for PP17. “We also have almost 15,000 pounds onboard of (meals-ready-to-eat) and bottled water for mission sites.”
In addition, the U.S. 7th Fleet band embarked more than 1,500 lbs. of musical equipment, which they are sharing with Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) band, who is supporting the Malaysia leg of PP17.
“There’s a container inside the ship where we keep all our sound gear and instruments. At each port we unload it, take to the sites, and set it all up. It’s like a moving carnival,” said MU1 Travis Stanley, musician with PACFLT Band. “We have a lot of pieces to set up and a lot to tear down.”
According to Stanley, this is the first time that he’s heard of two fleet bands sharing equipment and sharing a mission.
“It’s kind of unique,” said Stanley. “Most of my experience has been riding the ship with the gear. This is a new experience for me, flying in and meeting the ship to offload the gear. It wouldn’t even be possible without the ship, because flying all this gear would be cost prohibitive, so the ship is really enabling the whole mission for us.”
Generally, the Fall River was designed for troop transport; however, the mission bay can be modified through a program called adaptive force package (AFP). The AFPs are container-sized modules that can be attached to the mission bay to create added functions.
“The adaptive force package allows us to utilize the mission bay in ways not originally designed for: adding berthing modules; office and computer workspaces, additional laundry facilities, reefers for food storage and gym equipment,” said Kelts. “The AFP demonstrates flexibility of this platform, depending on the mission.”
Following Malaysia, the Fall River will travel to Vietnam for the next mission stop.
In addition to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam, the U.S. is partnering with service members from Japan, South Korea, Australia and United Kingdom.
Now in its 12th year, Pacific Partnership continues as the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific and aims to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for manmade and natural disasters.
For more information on Pacific Partnership 2017 follow us on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/pacificpartnership and @PacificPartner
For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf73/.
|Date Posted:||04.15.2017 09:19|
This work, Military Sealift Command’s USNS Fall River Offload Marks Second Half of Pacific Partnership 2017 in Malaysia, by Grady Fontana, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.