CHUUK, Micronesia—Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, was in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia this week with a high-level U.S. delegation from Washington, D.C. and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to take part in commemorating the 75th anniversary of Operation Hailstone, which took place during World War II in the Pacific.
The U.S. delegation had the opportunity to meet with FSM government leadership where they discussed issues of mutual interest. They also met Chuuk state leadership and visited the Chuuk Public Utility Corp., where a wastewater treatment plant was recently overhauled with funds provided through the Compact of Free Association.
The 75th anniversary of Operation Hailstone commemorates a massive U.S. military strike on Japanese naval forces in Truk following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Beginning on Feb. 17 and 18, 1944, the bombardment of Operation Hailstone played an important part in changing the tide during the World War II battle in the Pacific. Numerous wrecks remain from that important battle and are part of the world renowned wreck-diving site in Chuuk, formerly known as Truk lagoon.
“The Department of the Interior has a long and cherished history with the Federated State of Micronesia,” said Domenech. “Through our relationship under the Compact of Free Association, together we have improved and built schools, hospitals, utilities and other projects throughout the FSM that directly benefit the people of the FSM. We are proud of that legacy. We continue to collaborate as partners in the US-FSM Joint Economic Management Committee and will continue to carefully consider future needs as we jointly manage the Compact Trust Fund together.”
The principals of the U.S. delegation traveling to Micronesia—Domenech, Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., U.S. Air Force, commander, Pacific Air Forces; Indo-Pacific Command; Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander, U.S. Coast Guard 14th District; Nick Dean, director, East Asia Pacific Bureau, State Department; Alexander Gray, director for Oceania, National Security Council; and Nikolao Pula, director, Office of Insular Affairs, Department of the Interior—were led in the FSM by U.S. chargé d’affaires Heather Coble.
The delegation will also visit the Republic of Palau and Kwajalein in the Republic of the Marshall Islands on this trip. (PR)