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September 2, 2010
PP10 mission lands in Timor
By LEUT Kara Wansbury
THE most eastern part of East Timor was
recently home to HMA Ships Labuan
and Tarakan during Pacific Partnership
2010 where they, once again, hosted
medical and dental personnel for the
conduct of remote clinics as part of the
humanitarian assistance mission.
However, unlike their experiences in
Indonesia, both heavy landing craft ships
beached each day in order to transfer
medical, dental and veterinary teams and
their equipment ashore.
Tarakan's CO, LEUT Kevin Whatling,
said each ship carried 21 medical and
"Once they have done their daily work
we pick them up and return to anchor.
The teams stay on board each night for
safety and security," he said.
"Our ships' companies have the oppor-
tunity to also go ashore and experience
the medical, dental and veterinary clinics.
The sailors support the medical and den-
tal clinics by assisting to control crowds
and observing treatments."
Once again the Australian hospital-
ity proved a winner with the international
Scott Farrell, an optometrist from
the Latter Day Saint Charities, said the
Australian ships were a great place to
return after work each day.
"There is great food, a good shower
and good company," he said.
Commander Australian National
Command Element, LTCOL David
Collins, said the importance of the heavy
landing craft in the PP10 mission could
not be understated.
"The participation by the heavy land-
ing craft really enhanced our PP10 foot-
print in East Timor," he said.
"We were able to send medical, den-
tal and veterinary teams to more remote
areas, to service more of the commu-
nity and work with more members of the
Timorese Defence Force," he said.
PP10 participants in East Timor
included military personnel from
Australia, Canada, Portugal, the Republic
of Korea, the UK and US, as well as
numerous volunteers from non-govern-
VILLAGERS in East Timor's remote
Oecussi enclave have received life
changing medical support through a
multinational medical program deliv-
ered by Pacific Partnership 2010,
the International Stabilisation Force
(ISF) and the East Timorese Defence
Force (F-FDTL), with support from
the Defence Cooperation Program.
More than 1000 villagers were
treated over three days, and two chil-
dren with life threatening illnesses were
immediately evacuated by helicopter to
Ministry of Health hospitals.
The Oecussi activities were part of
an ongoing campaign of Medical Civic
Action Programs (MEDCAPs), which
were established to provide care for ill
villagers and train local health provid-
ers operating under the F-FDTL and
East Timorese Ministry of Health.
The Oecussi MEDCAP was the
focus for the August campaign, and vil-
lagers from Nitibe, Maquelab, Oalkaen
and Baqui received critical medical
Brisbane-based ADF medical offic-
er CAPT Carl Bryant, who is currently
deployed to the ISF, said MEDCAPs
not only improved the well-being of
individuals, but built the community.
"We facilitate the East Timorese
in transporting their medication and
staff out to areas they can't get to and
we also help build the capacity of the
F-FDTL to help their own people in the
planning and running of medical sup-
port programs," he said.
"Heightening the ability of the
Ministry of Health and F-FDTL
through training ensures we are having
a long-lasting impact on the people and
that really makes it worthwhile."
US Navy CMDR Peter Shumaker,
officer in charge of the PP10-led
MEDCAP at Baqui, said optometry,
dental, dermalogical, congenital and
surgical conditions had been assessed.
"We have seen a full range of condi-
tions but working with our partners
has been tremendous," he said.
"It is the reason we are here. It's
also a vehicle to strengthen ties and
SAFE ARRIVAL: (Main) HMAS Labuan
prepares for a beach landing on the coast of
Lautaim, East Timor.
JOINT MISSION: (Inset above left) L-R
LSBM Gareth White, East Timorese Defence
member Aida Moniz Alves and US Navy
Hospital Corpsman Coty Chestnut on HMAS
HISTORY: (Inset left) SMNBM James Riddell,
LSET Matthew Morton, ABBM Peter Gregg
and ABCIS Liam Knight sit in front of a
400-year-old Portuguese fort off the coast of
Lautaim, East Timor.
Photos: ABIS Andrew Dakin
Changing lives on PP10
QUALITY OF LIFE: ABMT Cameron
Fulton assists a US Army dentist at a
Medical Civic Action Program at the
Oecussi enclave, East Timor.
Photos: ABIS Andrew Dakin
increase the interoperability between
ourselves, the ADF and F-FDTL."
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Medical
officer CMDR Michael Wilson on the
bridge wing of USNS Mercy.
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