A month after Palau’s new Guardian-class patrol boat PSS President Remeliik II sailed into Koror, President Remengesau officially ordered Lieutenant Commander Emerson Nobuo to take command of the vessel at a welcoming ceremony this past Friday.
The ceremony took place at Marine Law Dock in Malakal, and opened with the Remeliik II sailing into the harbor, escorted by Sonsorol canoers and Okeanos Palau.
Remeliik II, a donation from the Australian Government, is replacing the Remeliik I, which sailed back to Australia in July after 24 years of patrolling Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Vice-President Raynold Oilouch referred to the new vessel as a “younger, stronger, faster, more modern, and sophisticated state-of-the-art patrol boat”. The new ship is 39.5 meters long, can sail up to speeds of 25 knots, and is all electronically-controlled.
The Remeliik II, with a crew of nineteen who underwent extensive training in Australia to familiarize themselves with the features of the vessel, will be undertaking a yearly schedule of patrols in the coming years to monitor Palau’s waters. Its first patrol was in mid-November, when it escorted President Remengesau aboard the Ocean Hunter to the Southwest Islands and back.
Director Victor Remengesau of the Bureau of Maritime Security & Fish and Wildlife Protection said that Australia’s donation of the patrol boat is not just about the maritime security for Palau, but for the global community.
Ambassador Richelle Turner of the Embassy of Australia referred to the Remeliik as an embodiment of Australia and Palau’s decades-long partnership, and stressed that Australia is working alongside its Pacific partners to provide regional-wide aerial surveillance through the Foreign Fisheries Agency to maritime patrols and multilateral operations.
The Remeliik II will be participating in joint-surveillance marine patrol exercises with regional partners, such as the Federated States of Micronesia, with the aid of Australia.
Vice-President Oilouch said that this November marked 25 years of Palau’s participation in Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program, which includes achievements in terms of “regional cooperation efforts, joint-maritime surveillance programs, humanitarian aid, medical evacuations, search and rescue operations, and efforts against illegal and unregulated fishing and human-trafficking operations”.
At the end of the ceremony, President Remengesau handed over the key of the ship to Officer Emerson, and ordered him to take command of the Remeliik II.
Palau also officially welcomed its new Maritime Surveillance Advisor, Lieutenant Commander Neil Krauklis of the Australian Navy. Lieutenant Commander Clint Moore, who served as Palau’s Maritime Surveillance Advisor for three years, will be returning to Australia to continue his career. Vice-President Oilouch recognized Lieutenant Commander Moore for his service and for being “instrumental in the smooth transition to the new patrol boat”.

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