U.S. conducts maritime safety, security improvements with Republic of Palau

Members of Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia (WLB 215) stand for a photo with representatives of the Palau Ministry of Transportation May 5, 2019, off Palau. The Sequoia crew set four buoys in the waterway of the Port of Koror at the request of the U.S. Embassy in Koror. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Sequoia/Released)

Members of Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia stand for a photo with representatives of the Palau Ministry of Transportation May 5, 2019, off Palau. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Sequoia)

HONOLULU — The U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with Embassy Koror and with the support of the Department of Interior, provided aids-to-navigation infrastructure improvements in the waters of Koror, Palau in early May in support of maritime safety and security development.

“The United States is proud to partner with the government and people of Palau to enhance maritime safety and contribute to the development of the Port of Koror,” said U.S. Ambassador to Palau Amy Hyatt. “The American people are grateful for the decades of friendship between our two nations underscored by the Compact of Free Association.”

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Guam, set four buoys marking the main waterway in the Port of Koror. Three officials from Palau’s Ministry of Transportation were aboard the cutter to observe and participate in the operations. This work is part of a longer-term effort to assess and improve Palau’s maritime navigation system.

“The U.S. Coast Guard, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, and working jointly with U.S. Embassy Koror and the Republic of Palau, has improved the Palau maritime transportation system to ensure safe navigation,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard 14th District. “Our work together is essential to strengthening our relationship, improving regional maritime governance, and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Commercial, military and private vessels utilize the Port of Koror, a deep-water port that is essential to maritime commerce and U.S. defense readiness. The Republic of Palau consists of 340 islands with a population of more than 22,500 people.

“Interior is pleased to be a partner in this endeavor between the U.S. Government and the Republic of Palau to improve maritime safety and navigation,” said Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs. “This is but one of many areas of collaboration that the U.S. and Palau enjoy under the Compact of Free Association relationship.”

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