Fri. Dec 6th, 2019

Air and maritime radars to aid PNMS, safer Indo-Pacific

The installation of the maritime awareness radar systems (MDA) in Palau will aid in the monitoring of massive 500,000-square-kilometer marine sanctuary by 2020, according to Vice President Raynold Oilouch.

Oilouch, who headed the discussions of the installation since 2017 said the radar system in Kayangel and Angaur will be the first to be completed.

He said the MDA would jointly be used by Palau and the United States, which has a range of 70 miles offshore.

“The MDA would be very much beneficial to the government and Palau and will help out with our PNMS,” Oilouch told reporters on Wednesday.

The radar installation is aimed at boosting Palau’s maritime law enforcement capability in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. It will also enhance air domain awareness for aviation safety and security.

The U.S. and Palau partnership, he added would also be vital in curbing maritime crime.

Sites proposed by the U.S. team for the Aerial Domain Awareness (ADA) are in Ngaraard and Angaur.

The ADA, the vice president said, might be for the exclusive use of the  U.S. but it would also assist in the security of the Indo-Pacific region.

Minister Umiich Sengebau has said in an international conference last year that it would need assistance to fight international crime in the fishing industry.

“Because of our close proximity to south-east Asia, we have seen cases from our neighbors of people trafficking and drug smuggling, which is becoming a big problem in Palau. We’ve found drugs coming from fishing vessels … We suspect boats coming from Palau go to meet fishing vessels in open water.

“To expect a small country like Palau to address this is impossible. We want the international community to help,” Sengebau was quoted as saying to the Guardian.

Sites proposed by the U.S. team for the Aerial Domain Awareness (ADA) are in Ngaraard and Angaur.

The ADA, the vice president said, might be for the exclusive use of the U.S., but it would also assist in the security of the Indo-Pacific region.

“ As one of the Pacific island nation we have a responsibility as well to makes our region in the Indo-Pacific safe form all acts of violence,”Oilouch.

ADA’s overall goal to have a peaceful Indo-Pacific, he added.