Seabees, Pacific Partnership 2016 Arrive in Timor-Leste

By Cpl. Brittney Vella, U.S. Marine Corps

PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Steelworker 3rd Class Codey Jones and Utilitiesman Constructionman Amber Wood, Amphibious Construction Battalion (PHIBCB) 1, take a selfie with Timorese children at Aimutin School during Pacific Partnership 2016 in Dili, Timor-Leste, June 10. U.S. Navy Seabees and U.S. Marines are working alongside Timorese and Australian engineers on various construction projects at Aimutin and Maneluana Schools. This year marks the sixth time the mission visited Timor-Leste since it’s first visit in 2006. Medical, engineering and various other personnel embarked aboard hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) are working side-by-side with partner nation counterparts, exchanging ideas, building best practices and relationships to ensure preparedness should disaster strike.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brittney Vella/160610-M-TM809-650 )

Pacific Partnership 2016 arrived in Timor-Leste June 8 for the sixth time in the past eleven years, and it was the first mission stop for hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Constructionman 2nd Class Falcon Allaire, Amphibious Construction Battalion (PHIBCB) 1, lets a Timorese boy help him paint Aimutin School during Pacific Partnership 2016 in Dili, Timor-Leste, June 10.  Seabees and Marines are working alongside Timorese and Australian engineers on various construction projects at Aimutin and Maneluana School.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brittney Vella/160610-M-TM809-635)

While in Timor-Leste, Pacific Partnership personnel will work side-by-side with civilian leadership from the Dili community and Timor-Leste Defense Forces in a disaster relief symposium, civil engineering projects, cooperative health engagements (CHE), subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and community service projects.

PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

A Timorese boy watches Seabees paint Aimutin School during Pacific Partnership 2016 in Dili, Timor-Leste, June 10.  Seabees and Marines are working alongside Timorese and Australian engineers on various construction projects at Aimutin and Maneluana Schools.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brittney Vella/160610-M-TM809-499)

Engineering projects include the renovation of Manleuana Primary School and Aimutin School, which also serve as a civilian shelter during a disaster.

“This is one of the reasons I signed up, to help people and make an impact,” said Construction Electrician 3rd Class Johnathon Dahman, a Seabee assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1. “This is something you don’t have to even think twice about, I’m really looking forward to putting the school together and making an everlasting relationship with the people of Timor Leste.”

PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Builder Constructionman Anthony Murphy and Steelworker 3rd Class Roy Hughes, Amphibious Construction Battalion (PHIBCB) 1, fill a wheelbarrow with cement at Maneluana School during Pacific Partnership 2016 in Dili, Timor-Leste, June 10.  Seabees and Marines are working alongside Timorese and Australian engineers on various construction projects at Aimutin and Maneluana Schools.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brittney Vella/160610-M-TM809-092)

After Timor-Leste, Pacific Partnership will conduct mission stops at the Republic of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Pacific Partnership 2016 is focused on enhancing relationships and multinational-interoperability through knowledge exchange and cooperative training, ensuring partner nations are prepared to collectively and effectively respond when disaster strikes.

Now in its 11th year, Pacific Partnership is a joint mission among several partner nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Republic of Korea and Japan, to improve disaster preparedness and regional responsiveness for any crisis.

PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Seabees high-five students at Aimutin School during Pacific Partnership 2016, in Dili, Timor-Leste, June 10. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brittney Vella/160610-M-TM809-670)

Pacific Partnership

A group of students at Aimutin School in Dili, Timor-Leste speak with Engineering Aide 3rd Class Margaret Villegas, NMCB 4, before a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of the renovation of the school for Pacific Partnership 2016, June 20. Timorese Soldiers, U.S. Navy Seabees, U.S. Marines and Australian engineers worked together to renovate the school’s courtyard and facade. This year marks the sixth time the mission visited Timor-Leste since its first visit in 2006. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Hank Gettys/160620-N-SJ730-075)