Army Civic Action Team (CAT) 84-05, which was headed by First Lieutenant Kevin Hadden, had already ended their six-month deployment in Palau and a new team from the US Air Force had officially took over during the turnover ceremony held at the Palau National Gym on August 10.
Vice President Raynold Oilouch, in his speech during the turnover ceremony, said that the presence of CAT in Palau does not only show that the United States provides security and defense for Palau but it is also through this that the US provides programs and activities for Palau’s communities.
Among the projects and programs contributed by CAT 84-05 during their six months of stay in Palau were the construction of four water catchment systems for the elementary schools of Ngardmau, Kayangel, Peleliu and Angaur and a total of 109 technical assists. The team had also been part of the improvement of the Ngarchelong Typhoon Shelter in Ollei.
They had also embarked on training locals for an apprentice program and in providing medical care to over a thousand patients through their Medical Civic Action Program which included visits to northernmost states of Palau and other outer islands.
CAT 84-05 also took trips to Peleliu and Angaur to conduct maintenance of World War 2 monuments.
Aside from that, the team had also instilled discipline among locals through their fitness program called House of Pain and reading stories to students of various schools in Palau, among others.
“Palau has become a home away from home … we learned a lot while living here,” Hadden said. “We learned that the generosity and acceptance of the Palauan people extends far beyond what we expected,” First Lieutenant Kevin Hadden said.
Meanwhile, 2nd Lt. Colin Quitta, CAT 36-03 officer-in-charge said that the new team which is under his leadership had been “welcomed with open arms” as they transitioned in Palau, adding that they have felt the positivity and support coming from the community.
“We greatly look forward to working hand in hand with the people here in this beautiful country along with building off the incredible legacy of CAT 84-05,” Quitta said. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)