DILI, Timor-Leste – Amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9), with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), departed Dili, Timor-Leste Aug. 31.
Denver’s visit to Dili included basic life support medical training in collaboration with staff from the Royal Darwin Hospital, in Darwin, Australia, Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Health Directorate of Community Health Services, HNGV, the National Hospital Referral and Ambulance Services, St. John of God Healthcare, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)-supported health improvement project (HADIAK).
Denver was the first U.S. Navy ship involved in HADIAK, an initiative designed to gather doctors from around the country in Dili to receive training so they can train others when they return to their home clinics.
“To be able to have a ship like this come in and work with multiple providers, we’re able to teach so many more people at one time” said Medical Doctor Lt. Bethany J. God. “They can then go out and continue to teach.”
While the medical staff was conducting training on health care, other members of the ship were conducting visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training and other military to military engagements with the Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL).
Denver also partook in a variety of community service projects, to include working with the physically challenged at Ahisaun Foundation, assembling a shade structure and gardening at Ba Futuru school, participating in ‘sing–alongs’ at Bidau Akadiru-hun school, and picking up trash with students from Ensino Secondario school.
“For me it was the most I’ve done in just four days,” said Lt. Robert S. Spivey, Denver’s chaplain and community service project organizer. “A lot of the Sailors came away from (the projects) getting more out of it than expected. All four events offered a well balanced range of interaction, cultural exchange and physical work.”
Denver is on patrol with the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON), 11 and is currently participating in Exercise Koolendong with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.