An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | July 20, 2022

VP-8 Hosts U.S. Ambassador to Palau

By Petty Officer 1st Class Juan Sua Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8)

KOROR, Palau -- The Honorable John Hennessey-Niland, U.S. Ambassador to Palau, visited the crew of the “Fighting Tigers” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8’s Palau detachment while in the Republic of Palau, July 10.

During Hennessey-Niland’s tour of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft’s flight station, mission crew work stations, he spoke with the Sailors about the importance of having the P-8A platform operating in Oceania.

“What this particular aircraft does fits perfectly with the needs of a partner like Palau,” said Hennessey-Niland. “With a large exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Palau has had issues with incursions in terms of research vessels and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing.”

While operating out of Palau, VP-8’s aircrew conducted missions to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) on vessels of interest and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing within Palau’s exclusive economic zone.

“The first thing is being present,” said Hennessey-Niland. “We have to back up our commitment with capability. Having one of our advanced platforms like the P-8 operating out of Palau is one of the best examples of us showing up and meeting our responsibilities for the defense and security of Palau.”

Oceania is a critical region to both countries who are mutually invested and committed to protecting and preserving the surrounding water for the benefit of the Palauan people.

“The P-8A's extended range and advanced ISR suite makes it a highly capable platform for patrolling the large Palauan EEZ,” said Lt. Benjamin Montgomery, VP-8’s detachment’s officer in charge. “Palau was very supportive in allowing us to bring our aircraft into the country and we were more than happy to assist in looking for vessels of interest.”

The Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau currently have Compacts of Free Association (COFA) with the United States, which allows the U.S. military to operate in their borders and veto foreign militaries doing the same.

“We’ve had a large number of exercises recently in Palau,” said Hennessey-Niland. “We just concluded Valiant Shield, which was one of the largest joint exercises ever here in the second island chain. We were able to demonstrate the Navy’s air capability integrated with the Marine Corps running the air field.”

Maritime domain awareness is a vital matter of security with major economic and military implications for countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Having a platform like the P-8 assisting with the maritime domain awareness is one of the best examples of a partnership I can think of between the United States and Palau,” said Hennessey-Niland. “Getting the U.S. Navy to Palau is critical to keeping the peace and demonstrating our resolve and proving that we can sail and fly anywhere that’s legally allowed.”

The “Fighting Tigers” of VP-8 are based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville and are currently operating from Naval Air Facility Misawa in Misawa, Japan. The squadron conducts maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as theater outreach operations as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
332,065
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
USINDOPACOM Statement on DPRK Missile Launch
Oct. 5, 2022 - We are aware of the two ballistic missile launches and are consulting closely with our allies and partners. While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our...

In Close Orbit: Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 Aboard USS Tripoli (LHA 7)
A naval air crewman jumps out of an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 during a search and rescue (SAR) swimmer training evolution Sept. 22, 2022. HSC-23 is embarked aboard amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7). Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Oct. 4, 2022 - PHILIPPINE SEA -- The Sailors of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, Detachment 1, provide amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli with an important multi-role air asset.HSC-23 performs several essential missions for the...

U.S. Army Civil Affairs Support Rally For Rangers in Mongolia
U.S. Army Civil Affairs support Rally For Rangers in Mongolia.
Oct. 4, 2022 - U.S. Embassy in Mongolia -- In partnership with the Mongol Ecology Center and Spirit of America, a U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team supported the “Rally for Rangers” event, a cross-country journey aimed to benefit the Mongolian...

State of Alaska ships 14,000 Pounds of Relief Supplies to Merbok-impacted Region
Alaska Air National Guardsmen of 211th Rescue Squadron and 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron load relief supplies bound for Bethel Sept. 29, 2022, on an HC-130J Combat King II. More than 130 members of the Alaska Organized Militia, which includes members of the Alaska National Guard, Alaska State Defense Force and Alaska Naval Militia, were activated following a disaster declaration issued Sept. 17 after the remnants of Typhoon Merbok caused dramatic flooding across more than 1,000 miles of Alaskan coastline.
Oct. 4, 2022 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The Alaska State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is working closely with state, federal and private-sector partners to coordinate the shipment and distribution of thousands of...

Declaration on U.S.-Pacific Partnership
Oct. 4, 2022 - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Australia: We—the governments of Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa,...