Commandant's iReport (blog) from Pohnpei, FSM Originally uploaded by uscgpress
On Monday (July 20, 2009) we visited the island of Pohnpei, one of the four states of Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The FSM are part of the Caroline Island Chain in Micronesia, along with the nations of the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. These Micronesian nations are important because their combined Exclusive Economic Zones are the third largest in the world. As in many other parts of the world illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing constitutes a significant threat to the rich resources of these island nations.
On our arrival we received an in-brief from the FSM Country Team led by Charge d’Affaires Doug Douglas. We thank him and his team for the great support during our visit.
During our stay we met with the FSM President Emanuel (Manny) Mori, his cabinet and Congressional leaders. We also met with our Australian partners who have been working to create maritime capability in this region for several decades through their very successful Australian Pacific Patrol Boat Program whereby they have provided 22 patrol boats to nations throughout the Southern Pacific known as the Compact States. They are represented in Pohnpei by LCDR Paul Ruhl who is doing a terrific job in coordinating Australian support.
We received briefings on the Patrol Boat Program and operations by the FSM National Police who operate the patrol boats homeported in Pohnpei.
Later in the day we made a small boat tour of the anchorage in Pohnpei where the tuna fleet offloads their catch to larger transport vessels.
The day concluded with a very nice reception where all the participants of the day’s meetings had a chance to discuss issues informally.
We look forward to working with the local nations of the region and our ‘Quad Talk’ partners, Australia, New Zealand, and France, to improve coordination and collaboration. We are also working with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation from Japan to develop plans to create better Coast Guard capability in the region.
Short Video from the Admiral http://www.flickr.com/photos/uscgpress/3739442323/