Royal Australian Airforce 35 Squadron is in Palau conducting aerial surveillance in response to Palau’s request.
Flying the C-27 J Spartan military transport aircraft, the 35th Squadron has been taking daily excursions starting March 7th flying up to 400 miles out over Palau’s maritime domain. The assignment will end Friday, March 18th.
“This is not the first time we’ve operated in Palau,” explained Flight Lieutenant Andrew Burgess, but it is the first the airforce has been to Palau in 3 years.”
Palau’s EEZ is the size of the country of France and with only 2 patrol boats, policing it is challenging. Aerial surveillance supports the enforcement efforts of Palau. Palau coordinates with its partners, the United States, Japan, and Australia on maritime surveillance.
The aircraft flies over the islands of Koror, down to Peleliu, and out to sea. Lt. Burgess did not reveal any of their findings but said that they coordinate with Palau and Australian officials closely.
Before coming to Palau, the 35 Squadron was in the Solomon Islands providing links between the islands delivering medicines and other supplies, according to Lieutenant Burgess.
The 35 Squadron will return home to Australia on Saturday after they completed their mission here on Friday of this week. (By: L.N. Reklai)