The head of the Pacific Air Force Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach stressed Palau’s importance as an ally against entities that do not promote an open and free Indo-Pacific.
Gen. Wilsbach made a short visit to Palau on Wednesday and lauded the government during a briefing hosted by the Office of the President, for sharing the same “foundational principle with the United States.
“Both of our nations have a mutual interest of a free and open Indo -Pacific and we are both committed to that goal and working together is a foundational principle that we both share, that working together with partners, with allies in this region, really in competition with those who don’t want this to be a free and open Indo-Pacific is what we are about,” Wilsbach said.
The general thanked the government for asking the Air Force to come into the country and conduct more exercises and operations in Palau in the future.
“My agenda is to do more Air Force activities in the future,” Wilsbach said.
The command, he said has been conducting several refueling of its aircraft in Palau and the nation has also provided the command a training and exercise venue.
The general said the installation of the radar systems in Palau will also help the US with monitoring air and maritime traffic.
He said the command is also providing the country assistance in infrastructure improvements such as airport projects.
“I reiterate again how much we appreciate the warm welcome, the willingness to consider having us come in and help out and contribute.”
In earlier reports, Gen. Wilsbach said that there have been great advancements in the Chinese military capability and that China wants to be the “only” superpower.
“They want to be the only superpower and they want everybody else to kowtow to the Communist party,” he told journalists in a conference call in June.
Several pieces of training and exercises are being conducted in Palau during the course of the summer, with an estimate of over 400 military personnel from the US descending into the country.