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NEWS | June 4, 2024

U.S. armed forces to conduct exercise Valiant Shield 24 in Palau

By Stephanie Leguizamon, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force

More than 600 U.S. service members are scheduled to conduct training across the Palau island chain during U.S. Pacific Fleet led exercise Valiant Shield 24, June 7-18, 2024.

Valiant Shield 24 is a multinational, biennial field training exercise focused on integration of joint training in a multi-domain environment. In Palau, Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen will enhance their expertise and combat readiness through immersive training that integrates maritime, aviation, and land operations.

President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. said partnering on exercises, such as Valiant Shield, is Palau's contribution to regional security and helps fulfill Palau's obligations as outlined in the Compact of Free Association signed 30 years ago.

“Effective communication is the cornerstone of our collaborative efforts to foster peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific. It is our shared understanding that such harmony is essential for driving economic growth and prosperity,” President Whipps said.

Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, headquartered at Camp Pendleton, California, is leading the joint contingent in Palau. Additional units participating in Palau include elements of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, the U.S. Army’s 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force, the U.S. Air Force 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron and 27th Fighter Squadron, and the U.S. Navy’s 30th Naval Construction Regiment.

“During Exercise Valiant Shield 24, the safety and well-being of our service members and Palau's residents are paramount,” said Col. Matthew K. Mulvey, commanding officer of CLR-17. “Rigorous safety measures will be implemented, including close coordination with local authorities and strict adherence to operational guidelines.”

Exercise VS24 underscores the enduring partnership between the United States military and Palau, highlighting the mutual commitment to regional security and cooperation.

The public can expect to see military aircraft and increased movement of military personnel and vehicles within the area. Residents may also observe a temporary increase in noise associated with aviation operations and a live fire exercise, scheduled to take place between June 16 and 17.

Aircraft and naval vessels participating in the exercise will conduct their live fire training in international waters east of Palau. From Palau International Airport, U.S. Soldiers with the 3d MDTF will fire an Autonomous Multi-domain Launcher (AML).

The AML is an unmanned rocket launcher based on the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, designed to engage precise ground and surface targets. Munitions fired from Palau International Airport will land at specific grid coordinates in international waters greater than 50 nautical miles from Palau.

The rocket propellant will be expended prior to impact, and the munition, a missile body containing no radiation or other harmful materials, will sink to the ocean floor. The DoD is partnering closely with Palau’s National Security Coordinator, Palau National Aviation Administration, Bureau of Aviation, Bureau of Public Safety, Environmental Quality Protection Board, U.S. Embassy - Koror, and the government of Airai to ensure a safe and successful training event.

​The U.S. Pacific Fleet VS24 exercise announcement is available at https://www.cpf.navy.mil/Newsroom/News/Article/3796554/allies-come-together-in-the-indo-pacific-valiant-shield-24/. Imagery and stories about VS24 can be found at https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/ValiantShield.

 

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