Multilateral partnerships key to ongoing PACANGEL 17-3 success Published July 25, 2017 By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Stratton Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs LAUTOKA, Fiji -- Five nations from across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region joined U.S. service members and Republic of Fiji Military Forces for Pacific Angel 17-3 to conduct multilateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations here, July 11-24. Australia, Vanuatu, Indonesia, the Philippines and France offered their assistance to ensure a successful exercise, promoting regional military-civilian-nongovernmental organization cooperation and interoperability. “I get to partner with a Fijian dentist while here and it’s really beneficial to see where he comes from and how he works,” said Royal Australian Air Force Leading Aircraft Woman Amanda Walters, the senior dental assistant with the Joint Health Command in Wagga Wagga, Australia. “The local people seem so happy and thankful for what we do which makes me very proud to be here.” Walters came with other Australian dental professionals and a pharmacist and added she can’t imagine a more rewarding way to give back and help the Fijians improve their healthcare. The partner nations participating in PACANGEL 17-3 worked through language barriers and tactical differences on all levels to conduct the various humanitarian assistance and civil military operation programs. “This exercise goes so much deeper than what you see on the surface,” said Lt. Col. Catherine Grush, PACANGEL 17-3 mission commander. “The hard work of the other nations here with us has ensured things run smoothly, and I cannot thank them enough for their help. It is an honor to partner with Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Vanuatu, the Philippines and France throughout this exercise.” Grush added that this operation is meant to further interoperability and strengthen partnerships to prepare for disaster relief efforts that may be needed in the future. “Being here with our partners has been nothing but win-win,” said Grush. “We not only get to help the local community, but we are also learning about each other’s cultures and procedures in order to integrate and execute the most effective mission possible--together.” The exercise is set to conclude July 24.