Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM President Returned from Australia

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): June 6, 1997 - President Jacob Nena and his delegation arrived Pohnpei from Australia on June 4, 1997, on Continental Micronesia Flight from Guam.

Nena headed the FSM delegation to Perth at the invitation of the Government of Australia, to receive on behalf of the FSM Government in the Handover Ceremony for Patrol Boat FSS Independence which was held on May 31, 1997 at South Coogee, Western Australia.

The ceremony began with welcoming and introduction of the honor guests by Brigadier A.G. Warner, LVO, ADC followed by Handover to the Commonwealth Director, Transfield Defense Systems Pty Ltd., Robert Salteri, response and Handover to the FSM by the Minister of Defense Industry, Sciences and personnel followed by response by His Excellency Jacob Nena who then named the ship and unveiled the ship's name board. President Nena then invited the ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Phillip Maluweriam to commission the ship who did so with the following statements, "The commands of duty lay upon us all both opportunity and dangers, and therefore it is fit and proper that we should humbly ask the blessings of Almighty God at the beginning of this commission, that he may sustain us in the performance of our duty. Let us join ourselves in prayer that this ship may always be under God's protection, and that we ourselves may service in her to good of our Government, the advancement of our nation and the glory of God's most Holy name."

The ceremony was concluded with a Benediction, the playing of the national Anthem of FSM followed by the signing of the handover certificates by the President Nena and the wife of the Honorable Bronwyn Bishop, MP, Minister for Defence Industry, Science and personnel.

A formal dinner reception was held at the Sheraton Perth Hotel in which traditional toasts were offered and a welcome statement was delivered by The Honorable Bronwyn Bishop, MP and a response by FSM President Jacob Nena.

The delegation included Attorney-General Camillo Noket, Chief, Division of National Police Lester Ruda, and Special Assistant Josiah Waguk.

FSS Independence is the third Pacific Patrol Boat to be handed over to the FSM under auspices of the Defence Cooperation Program. With Independence, FSM became the first nation to make contribution to the cost of construction of the patrol boat. FSS Independence will join her sister ships FSS Palikir and FSS Micronesia later this year in undertaking surveillance patrols and other related tasks in FSM's Economic Zone which contains rich tuna resources.

FSS Independence is named after the independent island group of Federated States of Micronesia, formerly known as the Caroline Islands. FSM was internationally recognized as an independent nation on September 17, 1991.

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