From September 7-14, the U.S., New Zealand and Timor-Leste jointly participated in Pacific Angel 2015, with the aim of simulating a joint humanitarian operation, organizing a free medical clinic for the people of Baucau and upgrading key facilities in the local region that would be used in case of a humanitarian operation.
These events are all part of Operation Pacific Angel which is a joint humanitarian assistance operation conducted in countries around the Pacific region on a regular basis to support military-civil cooperation, support local capacity-building efforts and provide the opportunity for partner nations to share best practices and procedures in planning for and dealing with humanitarian crises.
An essential element of every Pacific Angel, in addition to planning and preparing for humanitarian operations, is community engagement through medical outreach, engineering projects and training seminars with experts, including advanced life saving skills and crowd control techniques.
The highlight of this year’s Pacific Angel was a medical services outreach at the Baucau Gymnasium from September 7-12, which provided general and some specialized medical services to local residents in Baucau, free of charge. In addition to the medical services outreach, the partners, led by the U.S. Air Force also upgraded facilities at the Eskola Medicina Baucau, Diwake Health Post and Venilale Community Center. Another key element of the operation was a simulation of a humanitarian air drop at the Baucau airport on September 8th, which was followed by a donation of the air dropped food supplies to a local orphanage in Baucau.
Since 2007, Pacific Angel engagements throughout the Pacific region have improved the lives of tens of thousands of people. Pacific Angel is part of the ongoing cooperation between the U.S. and Timor-Leste to help improve the lives of Timorese and build the capacity of local authorities and security forces. Pacific Angel operations have already taken place this year in Taglibaran, Philippines; Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam; Goroko, Papua New Guinea; and earlier in Timor-Leste in 2009 and 2011.