The US Navy has deployed its hospital ship USNS Mercy on a five-month tour as part of the Navy’s Pacific Partnership 2010 exercise.

Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in an annual series of US Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance endeavours.

USNS Mercy commodore Captain Lisa M Franchetti said there were eight partner nations, six host nations and 17 non-governmental organisations participating in the mission.

During the exercise, participants will provide onshore assistance in engineering projects, medical care, information exchange, as well as humanitarian and civic assistance to Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Palau and Papua New Guinea.

The ship has been equipped with humanitarian and civic assistance equipment and supplies along with medicine personnel, veterinarian, medical and engineering personnel.

The hospital ship is currently docked in Guam to take on mission-support teams, supplies and other equipment. It is expected to arrive in Vietnam on 31 May where it will remain for more than two weeks.

Mercy will resupply at logistical hubs in Singapore and Darwin, Australia, during the deployment.