ASAN, Guam (Nov. 20, 2023) – Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) Senior Military Official for the Republic of Palau, and President Surangel Whipps Jr. led the bilateral Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) Nov. 16-17 in Palau, joined by senior leaders from INDOPACOM, the U.S. Department of State, and the Government of Palau.

The JCM is in accordance with the Compact of Free Association (COFA) Title III: Security and Defense Relations and promotes ongoing dialogue between nations for the purpose of enhancing security and defense responsibilities in the region.

“We are in a period of change and strategic growth in our defense posture in this region,” Huffman said. “It is crucial that we have a full understanding of our individual and mutual needs as two countries in partnership – so that our military can successfully protect and defend our people and our freedoms as we have promised.”

The JCM agenda for this session included defense responsibilities, infrastructure building, and regional military exercises.

“With our goals aligned, we will advance our security efforts, as partners, for the mutual benefit of our two countries and the region,” U.S. Ambassador to Palau Joel Ehrendreich said.

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