Commander of Naval Area 1 Rear Admiral Datuk Azhari Abdul Rashid said the PP 16 this time, which began today, could strengthen relationship and communication linkages, especially with the United States in this matter.
“The Pacific Partnership was originally started in 2006 as a result of the tsunami disaster. It is specific for countries like the United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand to channel directly to countries affected by disasters.
“But after a few years, the Pacific Partnership was held, its objectives change and now the goal is more towards increasing the capacity and resilience of a country in the event of a natural disaster before aid arrives,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating the PP 16 at the Naval Area 1 headquarters (MAWILLA 1) in Tanjung Gelang near here today, which was attended by Vice Admiral C. Forrest Faison, Surgeon General Chief III, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
He said the 13-day exercise is being held in Pahang, among others, in Tasik Chini, waters off Tanjung Gelang, Kuantan town, Teluk Cempedak, Kampung Bukit Kuantan and Jalan Panching.
It will involve military assets from ATM and US Pacific Fleet, including the hospital ship, USNS Mercy.
“A total of five elements are emphasized in the exercise themed ‘human assistance disaster relief,’ namely in aspects of engineering capabilities, medical capabilities, community relations, search and rescue training as well as seminars on peace and security.
“We will also implement table-top exercise and training courses involving the US and Royal Malaysian Navy vessels,” he said.
He said 450 men and officers from ATM and 1,225 US navy personnel are currently involved in the PP 16 apart from other public agencies and non governmental agencies, including Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Mercy Malaysia and Malaysian Health Ministry.