NZ sailors to join US-led humanitarian mission in Pacific
"Pacific Partnership 2007 is a four month long, United States-led humanitarian assistance and civic action mission to countries throughout South East Asia and the South Pacific", Mr Goff said.
"Our Navy personnel will join the mission for a three and a half week deployment during which time they will form part of a multinational military and non-governmental medical, dental and construction team.
"The team will be hosted aboard the USS Peleliu - a US Navy multi-role amphibious ship which will provide the facilities and assets needed to undertake this humanitarian work.
"The medical team will be providing valuable clinical, medical and dental assistance to people who would not ordinarily have access to high-grade medical treatment.
"The countries that will be visited during Pacific Partnership 2007 include the Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands. During their deployment, the New Zealand contingent will participate in the Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands portion of the mission.
"Other countries contributing personnel to Pacific Partnership 2007 include Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United States. NGOs involved include Aloha Medical Mission, Project Hope and the University of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society.
"This is another example of the region's Defence Forces pooling their skills and capabilities to improve the lives of people in South East Asia and the South Pacific", Mr Goff said.