Apra Harbor, Guam - Sailors participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) departed Guam aboard Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) March 19, bound for the mission's first stop in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. PP18's objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.

"Pacific Partnership provides opportunities to better prepare and respond to a disaster and improve relationships in communities. I am confident we will make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people across Micronesia and Southeast Asia. Now more than ever, it is critical to foster these partnerships to be better prepared to work together in the future," said Capt. Peter Olive, Pacific Partnership 2018 deputy mission commander.

Brunswick and hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) will visit different Asia-Pacific nations during the course of PP18. Increasing the reach and scope of PP18, participants and host nation counterparts will conduct technical expertise exchanges in medical, engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Additionally, key leader and community engagement events will allow for direct engagement with local citizens and enhanced relationships with partner nation military and government leadership.

Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. and allied military personnel along with non-government organizations, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.