Timorese Maternity Ward Reopens after Renovations by PP19 Engineers

Story by MC2 Nicholas Burgains, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific 

DILI, Timor-Leste – A ribbon cutting ceremony at the Vera Cruz health clinic maternity ward marked the completion of a renovation project by engineers from Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19), May 3.

Vice Minister and Minister of Interim Bonifacio Maukoli dos Reis and U.S. Navy Capt. Randy Van Rossum, Pacific Partnership 2019 mission commander, sign memoranda of understanding at a ribbon cutting ceremony that marks the completion of a renovation project for Vera Cruz health clinic maternity ward, May 3. (Photo by MC1 Nathan Carpenter)


The ceremony concluded a 10-day project to update the building, with more than 100 hours of effort invested by the Timor-Leste Defense Force, U.S. Navy Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion One and Royal Australian Engineers from the 3rd Combat Engineering Regiment.

“The renovation of this building will greatly benefit the new mothers of the local community,” said USAID Mission Director Diana Putman. “The clinic plays a vital role in ensuring Timor-Leste’s future, by safely delivering more than 100 babies each month.”

The clinic plays a crucial role in the community, providing maternity care to seven different villages in the area. By completing the renovation project, PP19 personnel strengthen local capacity for healthcare and provide a facility that can effectively support relief efforts in the event of a natural disaster.

“Pacific Partnership is about building,” said Rear Adm. Joey Tynch III, Commander, Task Force 73. “It’s about building structures, building relationships, and building community. The work that we’ve done here will echo across generations.”

The renovation efforts included replacement of floor tiles, repainting walls, updates to the bathroom, replacing lighting throughout the building, and installing air conditioning.

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.

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