2 March 2022– A Royal Australian Air Force C-27J Spartan aircraft is scheduled to arrive on 3 March to support Palau’s contribution to regional maritime and border security efforts.

The aircraft and team of 21 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel will be based in Palau for two weeks in support of PSS President H.I. Remeliik II to assist the Division of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection detect, deter and report potential maritime threats.

The arrival of the C-27J Spartan aircraft aligns with the national government’s 2022 theme “Oterkeklel a tekoi er a klekerngel ma sebecheklel a beluu ma rechad: Ensuring our Security and Safety.”

Australia’s Ambassador to Palau, H.E. Richelle Turner, said the basing of the C-27J Spartan aircraft reinforces our close bilateral partnership and shared maritime security interests.

“Australia and Palau share a strong and enduring security relationship, built on a shared vision for a region that is secure, stable, resilient and prosperous,” Ambassador Turner said.

“The Pacific Maritime Security Program sees our Pacific family working together to realise and uphold this vision for decades to come.”

Through the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Australia works closely with Palau and Pacific partners to strengthen maritime security across the region and protect Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

In September 2020, Palau received its Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GPB). Compared to the previous patrol boat handed over in 1996, the new patrol boat, Remeliik II, has greater range and is larger, faster and is designed to accommodate mixed-gender crewing.

ADF personnel look forward to working with the men and women of Palau’s Division of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection to protect Palau’s EEZ over the next two weeks and participate in community activities such as the Walk for Women 5km Fun Runin recognition of International Women’s Day.

Imagery of Australian Defence Force activities conducted will be available on the Australian Embassy, Koror Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AusEmbPalau/ and the Defence Image Gallery: https://images.defence.gov.au/assets/

Media note: Defence has stringent measures and protocols in place to minimise the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to the Pacific. All Australian Defence Force personnel entering Palau are in strict compliance with Australia and Palau’s COVID-19 protocols and measures.

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