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RIMPAC Participants Visit
PRC Hospital Ship
By Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class
Pyoung K. Yi, USNS Mercy.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – (DoD
News) – July 7, 2014 – The Chinese hospital ship Peace Ark hosted a medical
exchange conference as part of the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise here July 3.
Chinese and U.S. naval medical officers gave presentations
during the multinational conference, which opened with a video presentation
about Peace Ark. “We wanted the attendees to learn about our experiences on
humanitarian assistance relief missions,” said Lt. Cmdr. Xin Du, a medical
officer who serves aboard Peace Ark. “But more importantly, I wanted to learn
from others’ experience helping out on humanitarian relief efforts. I like the
idea of exchanging ideas with other countries. It promotes friendship and
subsequent joint missions.”
The hospital ship USNS Mercy
departing Pearl Harbor -- U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Charles E.
Military medical personnel from Canada, Indonesia, New
Zealand, Norway, South Korea and the United States attended the conference,
which encouraged the exchange of medical knowledge and discussion of ways to
help humanity using military resources.
“I was impressed with the sheer capacity of Peace Ark's
resources in treating people in a disaster,” said Master Cpl. Katarina Vasic, a
dental technician with the Canadian army.
A telemedicine presentation by Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Gilbert Seda,
a pulmonary medicine specialist aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship
USNS Mercy, caught the attention of many Peace Ark personnel. Telemedicine is
the electronic exchange of medical information between sites.
“Most of us are very interested in telemedicine,” said Du.
“Our cardiologist, nephrologist, and other officers were very interested in his
This year’s RIMPAC marks the first time in the exercise’s
history that hospital ships have participated. Peace Ark and Mercy will continue
to hold medical exchanges while in Pearl Harbor and during simulated
disaster-relief operations at sea.
Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more
than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the RIMPAC exercise,
which began June 26 and runs to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and
Rim of the Pacific 2014