DoD kicks off weeklong convoy practice on Saipan


A static display at the Airport Field shows one of the four Military High Vehicle Targets that will be used for an operation exercise on Saipan. (KIMBERLY B. ESMORES)

The U.S Department of Naval Surface Warfare Center Detachment kicked off its weeklong convoy operation practice on Saipan with a Military High Vehicle Target “static display” at the Airport Field that was open to members of the community.

Last Saturday, Capt. Jaylon Woodson and members of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Detachment held a static display of one of the four HVT systems that will be travelling around the island in a convoy for the next week to enhance DoD’s communication capabilities on Saipan.

An HVT system is a truck with a trailer that carries a simulated target or missile. It will be driven around the island to simulate the Department of Defense’ tracking capability and other specific training will be done with it so in the event of a missile crisis on Saipan, the DOD will be able to properly protect the island.

Dozens of individuals and families came out yesterday afternoon to see the massive military vehicle up close and were even given a chance to explore the HVT and ask questions about it.

According to Glenna Palacios, special assistant for the Commonwealth Bureau of Military Affairs under the Office of the Governor, last Saturday’s display was an opportunity for members of the community to personally check out one of the four military HVT system that were shipped to Saipan over the past few weeks in preparation of this training.

“We have four of these here on Saipan and its part of the training exercise that is going to start this week until June 13. We will be having training exercises for Saipan. We have the Air Force and, of course, the Army here,” she said.

Palacios explained that the community shouldn’t be alarmed when they see these massive military vehicles convoying across the island as it is just a training exercise for the DoD to further test and enhance their communication on Saipan. An earlier news release from the CBMA assured that the HVTs are not live missiles but are replica models made of tin sheets. This exercise activity is limited to communication testing operation.

“The training is basically a convoy around the island to basically test [the DoD’s] communication capabilities and their technology warfare capabilities to ensure that in the event that something breaks out—we hope it doesn’t—as a precautionary measure, this allows our Department of Defense to refine its communication capabilities to ensure that if something like this happens, they’ll be able to terminate a missile,” Palacios said.

The special assistant said this is the first time Saipan has had training like this and it is all part of the CNMI’s effort to support its military.

A somewhat similar exercise will also be done on Tinian. It will involve maritime operations at the Tinian Harbor, Logistical Hub Staging activities at the San Jose Port, refueling supply point operation at the Tinian West Field while cargo airdrop delivery systems will occur on North Tinian Drop Zone.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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