Sat. Apr 4th, 2020

Goodbyes and new beginnings at Civic Action Team turnover ceremony

KOROR, Palau (Feb. 14, 2020) Air Force 2nd Lt. Afari Patterson, Civic Action Team (CAT) Palau 36-04 officer-in-charge, left, salutes Navy Capt. Steve Stasick, commodore of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment, as he relieves Army 1st Lt. Kirsten Walsh during a change of charge ceremony, Feb. 14. During the ceremony, U.S. Army 84th Engineering Battalion CAT 84-06 was relieved by U.S. Air Force 36th Civil Engineer Squadron CAT 36-04. The Civic Action Team Palau provides construction support to the host nation, assists and trains apprentices with general engineering skills, facilitates a medical outreach program and conducts community service projects. CAT Palau is an integral part of the U.S. mission to assist and support the development of the Republic of Palau through the Compact of Free Association between the two nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Matthew R. White)

The Civil Action Team 84-06 formally turned over their duties and responsibilities to Civic Action Team 36-04 at the Ngarachamayong Center on February 14th. The ceremony was to recognize the work that has been done by CAT 84-06 and for the local community to bid farewell to the team as they make their way back to the United States of America.

During their 6-month time here in Palau, CAT 84-06 provided construction support for the Republic of Palau that included building playgrounds for children in several elementary schools, read to children in different elementary schools, participated in several important Palauan holiday activities such as Independence Day as well as the 75th Anniversary of the Battle in Peleliu.  They conducted training for local people to help benefit the community, maintained several World War 2 monuments in Palau, provided medical support for over 800 patients in Palau, and much more.

Several gifts and certificates of appreciations were presented to CAT 84-06 for the numerous good deeds that they have contributed to the Palauan community including a speech delivered by one of the students of a local elementary school where she thanked CAT 84-06 for their kindness.

The US Embassy of Palau expressed their thanks to CAT 84-06 for their services and said they should be proud of what they have accomplished. The Civil Action Team committee in Palau thanked CAT 84-06 on a job well done and wished them luck on their future endeavors.

Kristen Walsh, Officer in charge of Civic Action Team 84-06 said serving in the Civic Action Team was an honor and that it felt bittersweet finishing their term in Palau, especially on Valentine’s Day. She hopes that the local youth will continue to learn as they grow and to participate in many of Palau’s important occasions so that they can contribute greatly to Palau’s future.

She said she had the utmost faith in Second Lieutenant Afari J. Patterson and CAT 36-04 that they will continue with the duties and responsibilities entrusted to them.

Patterson, the Officer in Charge of Civic Action Team 36-04, thanked Walsh and CAT 84-06 for their graciousness and assistance during this transition. In his speech, he said that “We acknowledge the great legacy left by 84-06 and respect their efforts in maintaining productive working relationships with the local population, vendors, and local population. I pray for a safe return to your families and homes as you enter the next chapter in your lives.”

He added that CAT 36-04 is honored to continuously uphold the success of the CAT and that CAT 36-04 is ready to gain outstanding and hopefully long-lasting relationships, to learn as much as possible while in Palau, and to represent the positivity and professionalism of the US Armed Forces and US Air Force. Patterson concluded saying that his team is happy to be here and that they are ready to be of service.

Minister of State Faustina Marugg thanked CAT 84-06 for their contributions on behalf of President Tommy Remengesau Jr. and the people of Palau. She also took the time to welcome CAT 36-04 and look forward to working with them.

The Joint Senate Resolution No. 10-60 which was delivered during the ceremony stated that “The United States of America has been a close ally to the Republic of Palau for over 50 years and the Republic of Palau has benefitted greatly from this relationship with the United States of America. The establishment of the Civic Action Team resulted in the benefits that Palau continues to receive through its relationship with the United States of America.” (Telbakes Yano)