Emphasis on strengthening Palau’s maritime surveillance capacity
By: L.N. Reklai
July 14, 2016 (Koror) 2016 Maritime Security Cooperation Talks between the Republic of Palau and Australia held last week in Koror reaffirmed the cooperation on maritime security between the two countries.
Emily Rossetti, A/Assistant Director Pacific Island and Maritime Security, presented Australia’s outlook and position to the region’s maritime security, including its commitments toward that outlook. Australia announced its commitment to fund number of projects in support of Division of Marine Law Enforcement and Remeliik for FY 2016/2017. It announced an increase in financial support for Defense Cooperation Program engagement in Palau of AUD 614,083.
Ms. Rossetti gave an overview of the replacement vessel for Remeliik under the Pacific Patrol Boat Program emphasizing its new and improved features that will be able to accommodate mixed gender crew.
Ms. Joanna Clark, Policy Officer Micronesa, commended Palau for maintaining continuous and effective operations throughout the year. She further updated the delegation on the status of the Pacific Patrol Boat Program and the recent completion of Remeliik’s biennial slipping at Cebu, Philippines funded by Sea Day Funding from Australia.
Palau’s DMLE provided it’s 2015/2016 Operations Review and identified priority areas that remained to be addressed. Training and capacity building continue to be top priority item.
Ms. Clark, Policy Officer Micronesia, emphasized Australia’s commitment to train recruits, especially those that will crew the new patrol boat provided by Nippon Foundation.
Australian government reiterated its commitment to work cooperatively with Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Nippon Foundation, U.S. Coast Guard and others to support Palau’s maritime surveillance capacity.
Chief of Staff Secilil Eldebechel thanked Australian government for its years of support and noted that relationship is moving into a new era under the Palau Marine Sanctuary Program and emphasized Palau’s commitment to ensuring that all opportunities provided by Australia will bemaximized, to build local expertise. [/restrict]