Contributed photo

The United States Marine Corps turned over this month a joint range complex to the Palau government located in Ngatpang State. 

According to a Nov 11 Facebook page of the Office of the President, the range called Captain John J. Kintaro Range Complex will be utilized by the Palauan law enforcement training. 

During the ground-breaking ceremony for the complex, many of Palau’s leaders were present including High Chief Reklai, who is a US Marines veteran.  Comments on the post, which has been taken down, revealed that no one from the family of Captain John J. Kintaro was present at the ceremony.

Palau National Security Office Coordinator Jennifer Anson said that in the past the firing range was located in Ngeremlengui and was used for exercises with the military but the continued use of the complex in the area cost Palau money.

Ms. Anson said President Whipps father then donated land in Ngatpang to serve as the new firing range facility.  In a press release that was posted on Surangel & Sons website, but has also been taken down, said that Surangel Sr. had donated the area out of goodwill and not for any other reasons.

The firing range facility was one of the projects of Task Force Koa Moana comprised of U.S. Marines and sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force, deployed to Palau since September and will continue their security cooperation activities in Palau until December.

According to a press statement by Koa Moana, the complex was one of the projects inspected by U.S. Marine Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, who visited Palau from Nov. 5 to 8. 

“The United States’ network of allies and partners continues to be our nation’s greatest strength,” said Rudder. “The efforts of Task Force Koa Moana Marines reinforce our nation’s commitment to the Palauan people, and advance our shared interests not just in Palau but across the Indo-Pacific.” Commander Rudder said in a statement. 

The other projects of Koa Moana in Palau are the road improvements in Peleliu and improvements made for the Palau Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting station.

“The Marines and Sailors of Task Force Koa Moana 21 have been doing great work in Palau. It’s been rewarding to see firsthand the infrastructure projects they have completed and the positive impact they have had in the community,’ he said. 

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