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Sunday, July 29, 2012

US Navy hospital ship provides assistance to Cambodian communities

The United States Navy Military Sealift Command's hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) docked at Cambodia's Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on Sunday in order to provide free medical, dental, veterinary, and engineering assistance to communities.

The ship was greeted by Admiral Tea Vinh, Commander of Cambodian Navy, and Jeff Daigle, US Embassy Charg d'Affaires, as well as other Cambodian senior naval officials.

Speaking at the event, Tea Vinh said that the hospital ship's visit will help strengthen bilateral ties between Cambodia's Navy and the US Navy.

"Moreover, the ship's visit will benefit Cambodian people as its staff will provide free-of-charge medical treatment," he said.

According to a press release from the US Embassy here, the ship has more than 1,200 multi-national military service members and civilians onboard.

The visit is made under the Pacific Partnership Program 2012. Pacific Partnership is US Pacific Fleet's largest annual humanitarian and civic action mission in the Asia-Pacific region that involves coordination amongst host and partner nations, non- government organizations (NGOs), and other international agencies to ensure a synchronized ability to respond to natural disasters, said the press release.

It will stay at the port until August 11. During that period, the Mercy staff will provide free medical services including optometry, dental, pediatrics, and general medicine to locals, it said.

Cambodia first hosted Pacific Partnership in 2010 when over 14, 000 people received free medical services.

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