After 2 years serving as the Technical Adviser (TA) at the Division of Marine Law Enforcement (DMLE), Chief Petty Officer Damien Clark, will be returning to Darwin, Australia, to take up his new role training Royal Australian Navy marine technicians for service in patrol boats. He is being accompanied by his wife Rebekah and children, Felix, Willow and Isla. The new TA, Chief Petty Officer Nathan Smith, arrived in Palau January 5 and will serve in Palau for the next 2-3 years. Chief Smith lives in Palau with his wife Letitia and daughter Lylah.
A special handover ceremony was held at the Division of Marine Law Enforcement building in Malakal. This ceremony was held to farewell Chief Clark and his family, while also welcoming Chief Smith and his family to Palau. Remeliik Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Emerson Nobuo, took the opportunity to thank Chief Clark for his service, and highlighted the effectiveness and efficiency of Remeliik over the past two years, a credit to Chief Clark’s technical expertise and hard work.
The TA is funded by Australia under the Pacific Patrol Boat Programme. Under this programme Palau was gifted the PSS President H.I. Remeliik in 1996, and Australia continues to provide advanced training to DMLE personnel and ongoing financial assistance for patrol boat operations, as well as both on water and aerial maritime surveillance.
Australia is in the process of introducing a new programme called the Pacific Maritime Security Programme which will provide an increased level of support to Palau, including aerial surveillance and a new, larger and more capable patrol boat to replace the Remeliik. The new patrol boat will be a Guardian Class patrol boat which is specifically designed for use in the Pacific environment. Palau’s new Australian gifted patrol boat is scheduled for delivery in 2020.
Chief Clark said ‘it has been an honour to serve as TA in Palau, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Emerson Nobuo, the Commanding Officer, and all the crew of Remeliik. My family and I are very thankful to Palau for the support and friendship we have received during our time here.’ [/restrict]