MAJURO, Marshall Islands - Members of Pacific Partnership 2013 joined distinguished members of the Marshallese government and U.S. Ambassador Thomas H. Armbruster for a closing ceremony on the island of Majuro to mark the end the Republic of the Marshall Islands mission, July 13.
The Marshall Islands are the third mission port of Pacific Partnership 2013, the largest disaster-response preparedness mission in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Throughout the ten days spent on the Islands, military and civilian personnel from ten different nations joined together to conduct mission projects such as medical and dental engagements, veterinary clinics, engineering projects and community relations events.
"The intense efforts and delivery of goods and skills ashore were remarkable," said U.S. Navy Capt. Wallace Lovely, the Pacific Partnership mission commander. "The Marshall Island phase of Pacific Partnership 2013 has been a resounding success."
Dennis Momotaro, Marshall Islands' Minister of Foreign Finance and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed his gratitude to those involved in the mission.
"I applaud everyone who had a hand in this mission from the preparation to the carrying-out of the projects," said Momotaro. "The Republic of the Marshall Islands values this partnership."
Although the mission conducts similar projects in each host nation, memorable moments prove to be unique for mission personnel.
According to Magdalena Gajdzinska, a veterinarian from Poland, her most memorable day in the Marshall Islands came when an aspiring young veterinarian of about 12 years of age stopped by the spay and neuter clinic to get involved.
"She was the best vet on the team!" said Gajdzinska "She was helping with everything."
Pacific partnership personnel have been working to improve the sustainability of the countries they visit through subject matter expert exchanges with locals.
At the mission's dental clinics, U.S. Air Force Capt. Kevin Kunz said that the local dental staff maintained leadership in the clinic, but were appreciative and very kind towards him and his staff.
"We were able to help them in ways they wanted to be helped," said Kunz.
Pacific Partnership is a collaborative effort of military members and civilians from ten partner nations including Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States that improves maritime security through disaster preparedness.