Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Marines volunteer services in FSM

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): June 4, 2001 - On May 17, 2001, U.S. Marines from the Okinawa based First Marine Airlift Wing (1MAW) arrived in the Federated States of Micronesia to volunteer for community services.

The group was flown in on a KC-130 from the 1st MAW's Refueling squadron, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Leo Falcam Jr.

Under the Marine Wing Support squadron, the unit was dispatched to the FSM to provide some community relations projects. Members of the group included several career fields such as vehicle mechanics, medical corpsman, supply technicians, and combat engineers.

The community projects were based on a site survey completed in early March by members of the same unit.

The survey team visited the local communities for areas in which they might offer some assistance and through the support of the local Civic Action Team located several viable projects around the schools and medical facilities.

These Community Relations projects are part of the Okinawa based Marines continuing effort to extend its time and Marine-efforts to the Pacific communities.

According to LtCol. Falcam, "Marines have been in Okinawa for a long time, yet we haven't reached out as far as we could to our neighbors, so this is part of the plan to extend Marine services to the neighboring areas."

Through assistance and support from the local Civic Action Team, the Unit set-up camp at the Bailey Olter High School. They painted several classroom buildings at the High School and provided construction support to Ohmine Elementary in Kolonia town.

In addition, the Unit brought and assembled some computers and desks donated by chapels in Okinawa for Our Lady of Mercy school in Pohnpei.

Medical supplies were also donated to the State Hospitals in Pohnpei and Chuuk.

The Unit only had a couple of days to accomplish its mission therefore the projects were "small and quick" that could be completed within the allotted time frame.

Lieutenant Colonel Falcam anticipates similar future projects in the FSM where their services could be utilized and extended to all four states.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356