PEARL HARBOR – As Pacific Partnership 2023 draws to a close, the relationships and advances established through the mission’s lines of effort are very deep and tangible, and a testament of what nations are capable of achieving when aligned as a united force.
Behind the scenes of the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific are various working hands, from our host and partner nation planning teams, civilian and military contracting officers and contractors, and their logistical chains.
Lt. j.g. Jacob Deordio, assigned to the USS Essex (LHD 2) in San Diego, Calif., stepped up to the plate to serve as the Mission Supply Officer, who coordinated with the above working groups to execute the pieces of a very convoluted four month deployment.
“When I heard about the availability to participate on this mission, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Deordio. “This was my first big assignment in the Navy.”
Now in its 18th year, Pacific Partnership made mission stops to Vietnam, the Philippines, Samoa, Malaysia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tonga, and was joined by Harpers-Ferry class amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) as the main platform. Pearl Harbor supported mission stops to Malaysia, Fiji and Tonga, and was supplemented by various naval logistics chains for military air transportation.
“The first thing I needed to figure out was who to talk to and how to get pieces moving,” said Deordio.
Deordio’s team of logistics specialists would arrive in each mission stop ahead of the main body to prepare for personnel and equipment arrival. The team experienced their biggest challenge in Papua New Guinea, when a broken plane and local worker’s strike impeded the outbound exit from the country. In order to meet mission requirements, the team had to figure out how to move personnel and equipment within a narrowing time window.
“This job requires keeping a wide network of moving people,” Deordio noted. “This was not a solo mission. Hands from various naval logistical chains, defense contractors and local Papua New Guinea travel coordinators mobilized to move a whole crew of personnel and their equipment. Problems will present themselves all the time, but our job is to present solutions and execute them as efficiently as possible.”
Employing the full force of the naval logistics community to include Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, Navy Air Logistics Office and Command, Fleet Air Western Pacific, Deordio and his team got staff out of the country via military air transportation and onto their next destination ahead of schedule.
When asked about his success on mission, Deordio is quick to compliment his team.
“I am grateful for the patience and guidance people have shown me throughout deployment. I had a team of hard hitters around me. Their efforts contributed to the overall success of the mission,” said Deordio. “I would like to thank Lt. Calvin Do, Chief Petty Officer Anthony Wilson and Petty Officer 2nd Class Maricela Jones for their unwavering SUPPOrt and dedication to this mission. I’d also like to thank the team of deployable contracting officers from Fleet Logistics Command for their expert, on the ground technical support.”
“My biggest takeaway from this mission is that malfunctions can arise at any time, and the Navy has a wide range of specialized assets and people to overcome these challenges,” said Deordio.
Pacific Partnership completed its final mission stop in Tonga on Nov. 20 before returning to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to conclude the mission on Dec. 1. USS Pearl Harbor is scheduled to return to its homeport in San Diego later this month with Lt. j.g. Deordio aboard, who says he looks forward to celebrating the holidays with his wife once he gets home.