A U.S. Navy aviation rescue swimmer, assigned to Pacific Partnership 24-1 (PP24-1), served as a water sports safety expert for the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands, during PP24-1.
At the request of the Solomon Islands’ government, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) amplified the nation’s medical infrastructure during the 2023 Pacific Games providing augmentation to local clinics, the National Referral Hospital and the Pacific Games with a wide range of medical support as part of PP24-1.
U.S. Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Chris Upton, PP24-1’s search and rescue swim swimmer, operated as the lead rescue swimmer for all open water events, such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, and open water swim and relay.
“Here at the Pacific Games, my role has become advising the locals, as well as the aquatics committee, to make sure that we can provide a safe environment for all of the competitors here at the Pacific Games,” said Upton.
Pacific Partnership builds trust among nations to work efficiently together and that trust creates lasting bonds of friendship between the United States, mission partners, and host nations.
“It’s been amazing working with the locals here trying to tie everything together and give our expertise, and then also learn from them and learn about what their capabilities are,” said Upton. “It’s been awesome to meet a bunch of different people from different nations. We have Australia, New Zealand, and water aquatics people along with the Navy and medical personnel from the Mercy. I’ve had an amazing experience learning here, and then being able to provide the expertise that I have to come together and create a safe environment.”
The Pacific Partnership mission brings a unique opportunity for collaboration and cooperation to the Indo-Pacific in a deliberate, sustainable, and transparent way by working to enhance the knowledge, experience, and capacity of all participants.
“The biggest thing that took away from being here in the Solomon Islands and being on the crew with the Mercy, is being able to learn from the different cultures and the different people, and again teach them what I have to offer,” said Upton. “Being able to be involved in these Pacific Games has been a great experience. I never thought I’d be able to be out on the water, and be a part of the Pacific Games itself.”
This visit marks Mercy’s second visit to the Solomon Islands and the sixth for Pacific Partnership.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is the largest multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific and works to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships
|Date Posted:||12.03.2023 23:43|
This work, U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmer Supports Open Water Events in the Solomon Islands, by CPL Thomas Crivello, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.