COMPACAF honors 75th Anniversary of WWII battle; visits Micronesian islands

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Monica Urias
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, visited the island of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and Kwajalein Atoll of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Feb. 16-20, 2019.

Brown hosted Assistant Secretary Douglas Domenech of the U.S. Department of Interior as well as officials from the Department of Defense, Department of State and National Security Council for the duration of the trip. The group traveled to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Operation Hailstone and to meet with government and U.S. Embassy leadership at each location.

“Gathering for this 75th Anniversary gives us an opportunity to commemorate how values and principles became aligned across the Indo-Pacific region following WWII,” Brown said. “Today, the Federated States of Micronesia are a key partner with the U.S. as we seek to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Operation Hailstone commemorates a massive U.S. military strike on Japanese naval forces in Truk following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1944. The strike played an important part in changing the tide during World War II.

“This event provided the opportunity to recall the sacrifices of our military members and Chuuk civilians that, today, provides the foundation for our freedoms,” said Brown.

After the ceremony, Brown traveled to meet with Tommy Remengesau Jr., the president of Palau. They discussed mutual issues and welcomed future partnership opportunities such as Pacific Partnership 2020.

“Together, with a network of compatible and interoperable allies and partners, we can face complex challenges and an increasingly competitive security environment,” said Brown.

Later in the trip, Brown met with RMI President Hilda Heine to voice appreciation for recent engagements and reaffirm the U.S. presence and continued support to the region. The group also met with U.S. Army Soldiers at Bucholz Army Airfield on Kwajalein Atoll and received a tour of Ebeye power plant.

This trip is one of several commemorations planned by the Department of Defense throughout 2020 to honor the 75th Anniversary of WWII.