SANTA RITA, Guam—An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew conducted two flights repatriating Federated States of Micronesia citizens and delivering U.S. and foreign diplomats to Pohnpei International Airport last Thursday and Friday.
The flights were the first permitted by FSM to allow passengers to deplane since the country closed its borders in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the flights were 43 FSM citizens who returned home after spending more than a year away.
The operation began after U.S. Embassy Kolonia staff received an official request from the FSM government seeking assistance repatriating its citizens who had been stranded outside the country due to the pandemic.
Embassy staff worked with Coast Guard Sector Guam personnel to coordinate the operation and the Hercules aircrew deployed from Hawaii to conduct the two flights.
Throughout the operation, Coast Guard personnel, U.S. Embassy Kolonia staff, and representatives from the FSMa government worked closely to ensure all COVID-19 safety protocols were followed. All passengers had been in pre-travel quarantine since May 6, are fully vaccinated, and have negative COVID-19 test results. The passengers are undergoing an additional seven-day quarantine in the country. (USCG)