High level teams from, the governments of Palau and United States held secret talks last Wednesday in an unknown location in the country over the placing of small and large radars known as ADA and MDA in different parts of Palau to monitor the sea and the sky over the country. The sites have been identified by US team that has been scouting for good locations in past several months.
The Palau delegation was composed of 18 officials and was headed by Vice President Raynold Oilouch and State Minister Faustina RehuherMarugg while the 15 member US delegation was said to be led by the new US Asia, Pacific, and Australian New Zealand Assist Secretary of State and Ambassador to Palau and also consisted of one Air Force General and two Army Colonels. Five smaller unmanned radars known as MDA) are reported to be housed in a container and are said to have a range of up to 70 miles over the sea around the islands. They will be
located in Kayangel, Ngaraard, Ngardmau, Angaur, Sonsorol, and Hatohobei (Helen's Reef) and they will help Palau monitor the enforcement of its marine sanctuary, according to a member of Palau team who asked that his name not be disclosed. One of the two larger radars known as ADA, whose sites are said to be top secret areas with no locals allowed, will be located in a 55-acre land in Ngaraard State with parts owned by a clan and by the state government.
The other one in Angaur State will cover 65 acres of land with a small part on the existing airport and a larger part on a private clan land toward a beach. Many questions have been asked by the Palau officials and state governors involved as well as by many people in the various unpublished meetings such as land rental, presence of weapons in the sites, employment, and many concerns. No
answers have been provided.
One official has this to say when asked about what happened in the last Wednesday meeting, "...these are sensitive discussions and involve serious negotiations. I much prefer that we don't talk about it at this time because there are many unresolved issues yet to be resolved and the deal is not sealed..... when the time is right we will inform the public but there are not enough to give at this time."