8-12 August 2022 – The Exercise Fortune Guard 22 was held in Honolulu, Hawaii following Singapore’s successful Deep SABRE 21 hybrid Asia Pacific Exercise Rotation (APER) event 250 participants, four private organizations and 20 countries participated in in the Fortune Guard 22 including Palau, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Timor Leste, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. Palau was represented at APED by Ms. Roxanne Siual Blesam, Chief of Staff of theOffice of the Vice President/ Ministry of Justice, and Mr. Dillon Meriang, Senior Foreign Service Officer of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ministry of State. Proliferation Security Initiative (APER) Exercise Fortune Guard 22 was hosted by the US Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Policy (N/CWMD) and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Fortune Guard 22 featured expert panel discussions and break-out sessions, a scenario- based Tabletop Discussion covering fictional bio-weapons technology proliferation; a vessel visit, board, search, and seizure counterproliferation interdiction demonstration, and a port- level chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) counterproliferation interdiction demonstration. The event also included a three-day CBRN subject-matter-experts exchange (running simultaneously to the main event.
MajGen Christopher A. McPhillips, USMC, Director, Strategic Policy and Planning Directorate (J5) for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and Mr. Richard C. Johnson, DASD N/CWMD provided opening remark. Dr. John F. Plumb, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy provided keynote remarks via video. RADM Michael H. Day, Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District provided closing remarks.
Overall, the Palauan attendees, Ms. Roxanne Siual Blesam and Mr. Dillon Meriang consider it was a valuable knowledge-sharing event that will assist in improving Palau’s safety and security capabilities going forward.