Honolulu – The Coast Guard and Republic of Palau participated in an exercise to jointly develop guidelines for cooperation and evaluate Palau’s use of their patrol boat in support of search and rescue May 19.
The exercise served to formalize the process for communications and deployment of assets from state, local and federal levels as well as to evaluate coordination and operating procedures. The 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington and representatives from Coast Guard Sector Guam were in Palau to participate with the exercise.
This exercise is an annual engagement to improve cooperation and processes between the Coast Guard and Palau.
[Coast Guard Cutter Washington departs Malakal Harbor in Palau for a search and rescue exercise between the U.S. Coast Guard and Republic of Palau May 18. The exercise developed guidelines for cooperation and evaluated response capabilities for Palau’s Pacific Patrol Boat for search and rescue. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt.j.g. Grant Rutter)]
The scenario was a downed small aircraft between Palau and Yap, an island in the Federated States of Micronesia. Cutter Washington and Pacific Patrol Boat Remeliik were on-scene during the exercise coordinating rescue efforts. Coast Guard ship riders aboard the Remeliik taught Palauan officials how to plot assets and conduct a standardized expanding square search.
“Crews from both Washington and Palau’s Pacific Patrol Boat Remeliik, really came together during this exercise to jointly develop and evaluate a cooperative plan for conducting search and rescue in Palau’s waters,” said Lt. Nathan Mackenzie, Coast Guard Cutter Washington commanding officer. “Our ability to accomplish this daunting goal relied on the great relationship both crews developed during previous joint operations, which made it really easy for us to all share our collective search and rescue experiences, best practices, and local knowledge in a collaborative and ultimately effective manner.”
[Petty Officer 2nd Class Matt Hollingsworth conducts a bilateral ship rider boarding on a Taiwanese fishing vessel in Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone May 13. The boarding was in conjunction with an exercise between the U.S. Coast Guard and Republic of Palau to develop and evaluate guidelines for cooperation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Knappe.]