US Navy Ship ‘Fall River’ departs from Hambantota | Sunday Observer

US Navy Ship ‘Fall River’ departs from Hambantota

The US Navy Ship ‘Fall River’ belonging to the US Pacific Command arrived at the Port of Hambantota on March 7 with partner military and non-government personnel from the United States, Australia, and Japan, onboard. Accordingly, they inaugurated the 12th assignment of Pacific Partnership in Hambantotad to further enhance regional partnerships among member states.

During the last two weeks in Hambantota, the Pacific Partnership personnel worked side-by-side with Sri Lanka Navy and a number of local professionals; taking part in civil engineering projects, conducting Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief readiness drills and partnering in community engagements.

On completion of these procession of social responsibility and community development projects conducted centred in the Southern Province, USNS ‘Fall River’ was again boarded by the mission personnel from the Pacific Partnership and the ship set sail for her next ports of call in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Pacific Partnership 2017 made its initial mission stop in Hambantota, with the arrival of US Naval Ship Fall River on March7. On the completion of a string of community service and social responsibility projects, the mission of Pacific Partnership 2017 concluded its activities in Hambantota on Friday, March 17.

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for disaster situations.

The event was graced by the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe as the Chief Guest. Commander Southern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenna, Director Generals and senior officers from the Naval Headquarters and Southern Naval Command were also present on the occasion.

The partner military and non-government personnel from the United States, Australia, and Japan, onboard USNS Fall River, took part in this year’s program, working side-by-side with Sri Lankan medical professionals, participating in civil engineering projects, conducting HA/DR readiness drills, and partnering in a number of community engagements.

They conducted a range of timely social responsibility initiatives focusing on schools, hospitals, community centres and common citizens in and around Hambantota region. Meanwhile, the special joint band performances presented by the US 7th Fleet Band partnering with the Sri Lanka Navy also received centre of attention during this tour. The wind ensemble entertained big crowds gathered at Galle Fort, Tangalle City Centre, Hambantota Beach Park, Bata Atha Agro Park and Matara Beach Park with their wide array of music genres. As a result both local and foreign music lovers who attended those events could enjoy nice blend of US-Sri Lankan music at different settings in Southern Province.

As part of the final day proceedings of Pacific Partnership 2017, the closing ceremony was held at the premises of the Port of Hambantota. Speaking on this occasion, the Director Naval Operations and Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy extended thanks to the mission personnel of Pacific Partnership for their invaluable service rendered and selecting Sri Lanka as their initial destination.

The closing ceremony was followed by an evening reception organized onboard SLNS Samudura. A large number of distinguished invitees from the Pacific Partnership mission joined this colourful occasion. The event was made more vivid with an array of cultural performances presented by Sri Lanka Navy Cultural Troupe and Band.

This engagement also marked the first mission to Sri Lanka in the 12-year history of Pacific Partnership. Having blown the final whistle to the sequel of events at the Port of Hambantota, USNS Fall River will leave Sri Lanka for her follow on ports of call in Malaysia and Vietnam to execute rest of the mission tomorrow. 

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