US Navy hospital vessel gives ‘smiles’ in Subic

Volunteers from Operation Smile have performed cleft lip and palate repair surgeries on Filipino patients aboard the United States Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) August 9 in Subic. Operation Smile is a nonprofit medical service organization based in Virginia, USA.

Aside from providing cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children worldwide, Operation Smile works as a non-governmental organization to reduce the occurrence of cleft lips and palates.

USNS Mercy is currently in the Philippines for its third Pacific Partnership 15 (PP15). Pacific Partnership is in its tenth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Mercy will leave Subic Bay on August 14 and will sail to Da Nang, Vietnam to continue its PP15 mission.

While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary service to more than 38,000 animals.