WENO, Chuuk—Admiral Philip Davidson, Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in his first visit to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), was welcomed in Chuuk State this past Monday, December 10th 2018, by the Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the FSM, representing President Christian, and the Honorable Johnson Elimo, Governor of Chuuk State. In brief meetings with the Commander, both Vice President George and Governor Elimo thanked him for his visit, and for the continued and on-going mutual support, assistance, and cooperation between our two countries pursuant to Title III (Security and Defense) of the Amended Compact of Free Association. The purpose of the Commander’s visit was to personally meet with Leadership, and to participate in Operation Christmas Drop.
In opening discussions Admiral Davidson expressed his appreciation to the FSM for the visit, and reassured the FSM of the United States’ commitment to the partnership, and specifically, the defense and security of the FSM. Additional discussions touched on current and future U.S. Military activities in the FSM, and the importance of these engagements in the continued productive relationship of our two Nations. The Commander also recognized the important presence and participation of two service members from the FSM: Technical Sergeant Mori, U.S. Air Force, from Chuuk State, and Lance Corporal Rodriguez, U.S. Marine Corps, from Pohnpei State. At the invitation of the Commander, the two service members flew in to Weno to join the Christmas Drop operation.
Operation Christmas Drop is the longest running Humanitarian Assistance operation in the U.S. Department of Defense. Since 1952, the United States Air Force annually leads a combined effort that deploys U.S. and other allied nation aircraft to conduct airdrop operations to deliver Christmas gifts to the people and communities of the outer islands of the FSM. This year, military aircraft from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Royal Australian Air Force joined the Christmas Drop effort.
A U.S. Air Force C-130 from Guam arrived in Weno, Chuuk State, to perform one of many scheduled airdrop missions. Admiral Davidson invited National and State Leadership representatives to join him on the C-130 for this particular flight, which flew from Weno, and air delivered Christmas gifts to the island of Nama, in the Upper Mortlocks Region of Chuuk. Joining the Admiral on the flight were Vice President George, Governor Elimo, U.S. Ambassador to the FSM Robert Riley, Speaker Innocente Oneisom of the Chuuk State Legislature, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Lorin Robert, Secretary of Environment, Climate Change, and Emergency Management Andrew Yatilman, and other National and State government officials.
After completion of the successful airdrop mission, Vice President George hosted the Admiral and other Leaders and officials at a lunch function; Admiral Davidson departed Weno shortly thereafter.