Op Kaukledm 2 is a quadrilateral operation in the Palau EEZ involving the Palauan Pacific Class Patrol Boat, PSS President H I Remeliik, Japanese Fisheries Agency Ship Mihama, USCG Cutter Assateague & a surveillance aircraft chartered by the Australian Defence Cooperation Programme. Australia also funded Remeliik’s fuel for the operation.
Kaukledm means “Working Together.” Op Kaukledm 1 took place in the Palau National Marine ...Sanctuary / Palau Exclusive Economic Zone during the period 17-23 January 2017 and involved Palau, USA & Australia.
Japan is a welcome addition to Op Kaukledm 2. Op Kaukledm 2 is taking place in the Palau EEZ 03-11 May 17. By working together, the aircraft and the three ships will search the entire Palau EEZ (750,000 square kilometres) over the eight-day period of Op Kaukledm 2. Remeliik has detained two Filipino vessels for contraventions of the PNMS Act.
The Remeliik was gifted to Palau by Australia in 1996 as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Programme. In 2019 Remeliik will be handed back to Australia in exchange for a new Guardian Class Patrol Boat as part of Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Programme.
The aircraft used in the operation was under contract from Pacific Mission Aviation, a not for profit organisation with offices in Palau. The aircraft used in this operation (a Beech Queen Air Excalibur) was brought down from Yap specifically for the operation and will be returning to Yap at the end of the operation.
The JFA Ship Mihama will be remaining in Palau for several weeks and will conduct further surveillance patrols in the Palau EEZ with an observer from DMLE embarked. Mihama’s patrols are the embodiment of bilateral cooperation between Japan and Palau. The USCG Cutter Assateague is operating under the Ship-Rider program whereby US vessels can enforce Palauan law in the Palau EEZ as long as they have an officer from DMLE onboard. The Assateague will be returning to its home port of Guam later this week.
The positive results achieved by Op Kaukledm 2 demonstrate the benefits of working together – in this case with Australia, Japan & the USA supporting Palau in conducting surveillance and enforcement operations in the Palau National Marine Sanctuary.