Below is a D14 news release. This is just a bit more evidence we are taking our commitments to Pacific Island nations under the Compacts of Free Association seriously. Given their needs, the US Coast Guard has a huge role to play including assistance with Aids to Navigation and fisheries protection.
U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific
Coast Guard and Navy complete channel widening in Federated States of Micronesia
Editors’ Note: Click on images to download a high-resolution version.
SANTA RITA, Guam – Crews from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Forces Micronesia | Sector Guam improves navigation safety in Kapingamarangi Atoll.
The Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia carried members from the Navy’s Underwater Construction Team Two (UCT-2) to widen the shoal channel from December 4-8, 2021, which had narrowed due to marine overgrowth.
In close coordination with FSM National Government, Pohnpei State, and Kapingamarangi Atoll leaders, the Coast Guard and Navy teams used controlled explosive dredging techniques. The targeted area for removal was roughly 10,000 square-feet and took approximately 6,500 pounds of explosives to clear over the course of 4 days.
“I am proud of the efforts of our crew and the UCT-2 crew in completing this challenging mission,” said Cmdr. Ryan Adams, commanding officer of the Sequoia. “This channel widening will allow merchant vessels to more easily navigate the island, which will provide vital supplies to more than 300 residents who call Kapingamarangi home.”
“The United States and the FSM share a special and unique bond. It is through this friendship that we were all able to accomplish this mission. The widening of the channel will now improve accessibility for commerce and emergency situations especially when responding to natural disasters,” said U.S. Ambassador Carmen G. Cantor. “We know how important this channel is to the lives of the people of Kapingamarangi. As with all citizens of the FSM, we share an enduring partnership and look forward to continuing collaboration going forward.”
Additionally, crewmembers from the Sequoia and the UCT-2 detachment delivered approximately 1,700 gallons of bottled drinking water to the residents of Kapingamarangi while deployed to the island. The water was provided by the Ayuda Foundation, a non-governmental organization based in Guam.
All water was delivered to a remote drop site under a no-contact policy due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.