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  • Pacific Island Times Staff/News Release

US Department of Defense proposes to install radar towers in Palau

Koror-- The U.S. Department of Defense is proposing to install radar systems, which include air and maritime domain awareness radar towers, in Palau to monitor air and maritime traffic in the vicinity of the Pacific nation.

U.S. and Palau officials met on Aug. 16 to discuss the technical requirements of the proposed Air and Maritime Domain Awareness Radar Systems.

The radar system installation project seeks to enhance Palau’s capability to enforce marine law in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. At the same time, it will give the United States greater air domain awareness for aviation safety and security.

“Installation of the radar systems will greatly enhance Palau’s surveillance and enforcement of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary as well as offer employment opportunities for Palauan citizens to construct and operate the sites and training for Palauan officials to interpret and make use of the collected maritime data,” according a press release issued by the Office of Palau President Tommy Remengesau.

Palau received the proposal for the ADA and MDA radar towers on July 18 and has since had numerous meetings with national leadership including the Olbiil Era Kelulau, the executive branch, State governors and State speakers, traditional leaders, respective landowners, and stakeholders.

At the Aug. 16 meeting with US defense representatives, Palau’s technical team relayed all issues and concerns expressed by Palauan stakeholders. On Aug. 17, the two technical teams met at the working level to discuss these issues more in depth.

As a result of all of these meetings, Palau and the U.S. agreed to narrow down the scope of the remaining details, which, due to their sensitive nature cannot be disclosed at this time, according to Palau’s Press Secretary Olkeriil Kazuo.

“This project is essential to the well-being of the Republic of Palau’s air and maritime domains, as well as to the ability of the United States to maintain its defense of the Republic of Palau. The sites provided, which have yet to be finalized, have been chosen with an eye on minimizing environmental impacts,” the press release states.

Details and procedures for the project will be finalized at a Joint Committee Meeting to be held in Honolulu on Oct. 26.

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