Story by MC2 William Berksteiner, Logistics Group Western Pacific
DILI, Timor-Leste – Timorese leaders and Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19) participants attended a ground-breaking ceremony at the Timor-Leste National Institute of Health (Instituto Nacional de Saude-INS) in Dili, April 24.
The event marked new construction of a two-room lab and four-stall restroom. Engineers for the project include U.S. Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four, Amphibious Construction Battalion One and personnel from the Timor-Leste Defense Force.
“We look forward to working together and learning from each other’s best practices,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Randy Van Rossum, PP19 mission commander. “We share a common interest to enable community resilience, which ultimately leads to a more effective response in times of crisis.”
The new structure will help INS provide training and refresher courses to approximate 4,000 health personnel and first responders from Timor-Leste’s 13 municipalities.
“This project in particular will help INS to better train its medical professionals,” said Kathleen Fitzpatrick, U.S. ambassador to Timor-Leste. “We can share experiences to figure out what works and what helps best with disaster management in a place like Timor-Leste.”
The goal is to expand the facility and provide a better environment for medical professionals to help make Timor-Leste a stronger nation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year, the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific.