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NEWS | Dec. 18, 2023

U.S. Coast Guard, Yap strengthen ties through key leader engagement, site visit

By Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam

In a demonstration of continued cooperation, U.S. Coast Guard personnel completed a key leader engagement and site visit in Yap from Dec. 10 to 12, 2023.

This visit, led by Capt. Nick Simmons, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam (CGFM/SG) and the Compact of Free Association (COFA) team, highlighted the enduring partnership and mutual respect between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Yapese community.

Notable Events:

- Strengthening U.S. Coast Guard-Yap relations through high-level engagements.

- Recognition of the historical and ongoing cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Yap.

Future Support and Initiatives:

- Intent to conduct a Safe Boating Workshop in Yap, aligning with initiatives in Pohnpei and Chuuk.

- Participation in Yap Day 2024 celebrations, enhancing community engagement.

- Ongoing U.S. Coast Guard recruiting opportunities at the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute and across the FSM.

The CGFM/SG delegation, including Lt. Cmdr. Igisomar and Lt. Vaccaro, held fruitful discussions with Yap's esteemed leaders, including the Hon. Governor Charles S. Chieng and Lt. Governor Francis Itimai. The team also met with Attorney General Joses Gallen, Chief Justice Cyprian Manmaw, Senator Joseph Urusemal, the 11th Yap State Legislature, and the Council of Tamol, underscoring the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation. They also visited the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute, spending time with cadets and faculty, the next generation of maritime leaders.

During the visit, Capt. Simmons presented Gov. Chieng with a U.S. Coast Guard Loran Station Yap patch, symbolizing the shared history and continued collaboration. The historical significance of the U.S. Coast Guard Loran-C Transmitting Station on Gagil-Tomil Island, which was operational from 1965 to 1987, serves as a reminder of the longstanding ties between the U.S. Coast Guard and Yap. Once a crucial navigation aid, this facility symbolizes a shared commitment to maritime safety and navigation.

"The legacy of the U.S. Coast Guard in Yap is a testament to our longstanding commitment to this region," said Capt. Simmons. "We are deeply grateful to the Yapese people for welcoming us into their home and island. We look forward to continued collaboration, fostering maritime safety, security, and regional stewardship."

The visit follows a series of engagements by the U.S. Coast Guard in Yap, including local patrols under Operation Rematau in October 2022 and recruiting events by the USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) team in November 2022 holding a subject matter exchange with cadets from the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute. The USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) was in Yap on March 1, participating in Yap Day, a celebration of traditional culture, and the delivery of essential supplies. Both ship crews worked with FSM officials to patrol the FSM exclusive economic zone and deter illegal fishing.

-USCG-

The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team focuses on maritime safety, security, and stewardship in Oceania. With a primary presence in Guam and Saipan and over 300 members across Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the team maintains a strong U.S. presence in the Micronesia sub-region and adjacent areas, closely tied to local communities.