HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Rear Adm. Benjamin Nicholson, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) Senior Military Official for the Republic of Palau, along with Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr., and senior leaders from INDOPACOM and Palau met May 3-4 for the biannual bilateral Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The JCM is in accordance with the Compact of Free Association Title III: Security and Defense Relations, and enables ongoing dialogue between nations, which prove to enhance security and defense responsibilities in the region.
"Palau is a key partner for the United States in our efforts to maintain a free and open Indo- Pacific region," Nicholson said. "I firmly believe these forums foster relationships, rapport and a shared understanding that is critical to defense of the Micronesian region."
The JCM agenda included defense responsibilities, infrastructure building, environmental protection procedures, and regional military training.
Nicholson reiterated his appreciation for the robust dialogue with the Palau delegation, the broad technical expertise and leadership experience brought to the table and he thanked them for their partnership during his tour.
"It has been my honor and privilege to represent INDOPACOM during my tenure in the region and especially here during another excellent engagement with the leadership of Palau," Nicholson said during his closing remarks at the JCM in Honolulu. "The experiences I've had with you all have been nothing short of spectacular and I look forward to watching how the great progress made here manifests in our mission in the Pacific."