By TIMOTHY WILSON
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class
Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs
PITI, Guam—Sailors aboard the USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo completed a nearly two-week long Theater Security Cooperation mission to the Republic of Palau from Dec. 2 to Dec. 14. The Bobo, home ported on Saipan, is the flagship Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 3, under the command of Capt. Len Remias.
The mission was in support of Maritime Domain Awareness initiative in the region. MDA is one of eight plans developed in support of the National Strategy for Maritime Security, as directed by National Presidential Directives and Homeland Security Directives. The main premise is to identify threats to maritime security as early possible.
Four sailors from Naval Hospital Guam and Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 partnered with Bobo sailors and Military Sealift Command sailors aboard the ship to execute medical and communications training coordinated and facilitated by the U.S. Defense Representative Political-Military Affairs office.
Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, U.S. Defense Representative to Palau, said the mission deepened the longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Palau.
"The professionalism and dedication displayed by the embarked sailors and the staff and crew of USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo demonstrated our commitment to the defense and security of Palau," said Payne. "This type of constructive engagement allows our aailors to learn from regional partners while enhancing interoperability, building capacity, and strengthening the relationship we have with the people of Palau."
Naval hospital personnel conducted medical training for 23 students from various Palauan security agencies, such as police, fire and conservation and emergency services. Each student completed the course and became certified in Basic Life Support procedures and other lifesaving techniques.
Members of NSWU-1 sailors led training on U.S. Navy communications equipment and shared various techniques on line of sight and satellite communications with members of the Palauan maritime security force.
In addition to the training, the sailors were able to participate in a community relations visit at Palau High School. Seven sailors spent the afternoon of Dec. 11 playing volleyball and speaking with students about Navy life, career aspirations, and the importance of education.
Remias met with the vice president of Palau, Antonio Bells, chargé d’affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Palau, Thomas Daley, and other dignities during the visit strengthening bilateral relationships between the U.S. and Palau.
“The Bobo crew and the civilian mariners are able to perform outside of their normal mission of a maritime prepositioning force, to do these other types of Theater Security Cooperation missions as well as humanitarian and disaster relief,” said Remias. “We looked forward to the opportunity to work as an integrated team as professionals and mariners.”
The principles of MDA allows for ships such as the Bobo to participate in TSC operations across the region while strengthening relationships with other nations and building capacity for future security operations.