Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

Australian Government to replace Pacific Class Patrol Boats to Guardian Class Patrol Boats

PSS Remeliik

The Australian Government has agreed to extend its commitment to the pacific patrol boat assistance program by replacing the old “Pacific Class Patrol Boats” with newer, bigger and more modernly equipped “Guardian Class Patrol Boats”. Palau is slated to receive its new patrol boat in 2020.

The current Chief of Division of Marine Law and Commanding Officer of PSS H.I. Remeliik, Mr. Emerson Nobuo, was part of that first crew of Remeliik that sailed from Australia to Palau, and recalls in details the journey 23 years ago.

Nobuo proudly states that among the 22 donated pacific patrol boats, Palau’s PSS H.I. Remeliik received the distinction of the “most well maintained” of all in the Pacific. Chief Nobuo said, “Our patrol boat was meant to have a lifespan of 20 years, which PSS H.I. Remeliik has outlived over 3 years.”

Chief Nobuo is proud of the how far the program has come, and is optimistic for continued success in the future. He further shares that of the initial 22 crew members of PSS H.I. Remeliik, only four of them have remained in the program and have risen in the ranks.

On June 20th, 1996, Palau’s PSS H.I. Remeliik Patrol Boat first entered into Malakal Harbor after its maiden voyage from Australia to Palau. This marked the beginning of the Pacific Patrol Boat assistance by Australia to provide much needed security and surveillance of Palau’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

PSS H.I. Remeliik was one of the 22 Pacific Class Patrol Boats generously donated by the Australian Government to pacific island countries, including the Northern Pacific countries like Palau, FSM, RMI, and Kiribati to assist in patrolling their EEZ’s.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by then Palau President Kuniwo Nakamura and then Prime Minister Paul Keating of Australia, on November 21st, 1995. Part of the MOU began the initial steps to construct the boat, test and train the initial crew of Remeliik and provide assistance in the actual patrolling and surveillance work.

The Australian assistance has included Advisers from the Australian Defense Force stationed here over the years to provide various areas of support from technical maintenance systems to capacity building programs to our Marine Law Enforcement officers.

The Ministry of Justice is grateful for their ongoing service and commitment and offers its congratulations to these four individuals: Lieutenant Commander Emerson Nobuo, Police Sergeant Fenally Seklii, Police Officer III Johnny Sambal, and Police Officer III Moses Nestor.

The Vice President & Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch is remindful of the fact that some of the original crew of Remeliik have since passed away and wish to offer thanks and appreciation to their surviving family members for their valuable contributions to the overall Palau Law Enforcement effort.

Vice President Oilouch also extends much appreciation, on behalf of Palau, to the Government and the people of Australia for their generous assistance for the Pacific Patrol Boat program and many other program assistance granted to Palau over the years. (PR)