Between 500 to 800 US military personnel will participate in the Valiant Shield military exercise in Palau next month, confirmed Jennifer Anson, Palau’s National Security Coordinator.

“They will begin arriving this May 25 and by June 30, they will all be gone. The exercise includes the 4 US military components, army, navy, marines, and airforce,” added Ms. Anson.

The exercise will take place in different states in Palau, such as Ngaraard, Airai, Ngatpang, Koror (Malakal), and Angaur.

“We have met with the Governors’ Association to brief them of the exercise on Tuesday and yesterday met with the national leadership. Next Monday I will be on the Palau Wave Radio talk show to also brief the general public,” National Security Coordinator Anson said.

The exercise is also reported to test the use of Patriot missiles here by sending a drone 50 miles out to sea and shooting it down using a Patriot missile shot from Airai.

The Patriot missile, according to Encylopedia Brittanica, › technology › Patriot-missile, is a 21st century US missile, “designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles before they strike their intended targets.”

President Surangel Whipps Jr. reported the missile exercise at this week’s press conference, and NSC Anson confirmed this information.

“We will be giving notices to all airmen and mariners before this exercise takes place,” assured Anson.

While the Valiant Shield exercise is taking place, so will another annual military exercise: the KOA MOANA. The Koa Moana military exercise involves community and civic work, including military personnel working with Marine Law Enforcement and the PALARIS Office. They do civic projects such as road paving in Peleliu as well as repairing the school and public health facilities in the outlying states.

“The Koa Moana exercise is usually here longer and continues projects that they started last year.  Koa Moana is also an annual exercise,” reported NSC Anson in a phone interview with Island Times.

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