By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Lt. Jonathan Cho, a native of Great Neck, is serving aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) as part of Pacific Partnership 2022 (PP22), deployed in the Pacific Ocean.
Mercy departed its homeport in San Diego on May 3, with more than 800 personnel aboard, including military medical and engineering personnel, support staff, partner nation representatives and civil service mariners to participate in the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission in the Indo-Pacific. Each year the Pacific Partnership staff works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security and stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships.
Cho is a Navy Nurse Corps officer responsible for treating patients in sick call from San Diego to Hawaii and training corpsmen.
“I am so proud to be serving alongside Lt. Cho and this outstanding group of sailors as we support this important mission on the largest floating hospital in the world,” said U.S. Capt. Hank Kim, PP22 mission commander. “I’m looking forward to watching this incredible team forge new friendships and strengthen existing relationships with the nations in Oceania and the Western Pacific.”
At the invitation of host nations, Cho and the Pacific Partnership team work together to conduct tailored medical, dental, veterinary, engineering civic action projects, and subject-matter-expert exchanges.
“It’s an honor to participate in the first segment of PP22,” said Cho. “I gain shipboard experience and address medical problems of sailors to maintain mission readiness.”
Pacific Partnership assists local communities with a wide range of services enhancing host nation capabilities, building regional relationships, and exercising a collective ability to respond to situations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
“Serving in the Navy is an opportunity for me to give back to a nation that advances democracy around the world and contribute to the ideal of “government for the people,”‘ added Cho.