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.
Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, aiming to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for disaster situations.
The partner military and non-government personnel from the United States, Australia, and Japan, onboard USNS Fall River, actively 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. Accordingly, they conducted a range of timely social responsibility initiatives focusing on schools, hospitals, community centers 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 yesterday. 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 colorful 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 today.