CAT- Palau maintains a long standing partnership for over 50 years

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Helena Owens
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

The Civic Action Team-Palau recently returned to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, following a six month deployment to the Republic of Palau, where they helped the local community rebuild structures and roads, train locals and strengthen regional partnerships.

The CAT is a tri-service deployment to Palau that has been running for over 50 years. The team is from the 36th Civil Engineering Squadron and they have 6 main objectives; Community Construction Projects, Community Relations Projects, Monument Maintenance, Apprenticeship Program, Medical Care and Camp Maintenance.

“We do everything from renovating churches, participating or hosting projects for the local community, up-keeping historical monuments, providing free medical care and much more,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Gerald Mora, the officer in charge of the CAT assigned to the 36 CES. “We are here to embed with the community and provide support to honor our commitment to Palau that was established decades ago.”

The CAT-Palau completed over seven thousand hours of training for the locals, over one thousand hours of community construction, maintained a fleet of 28 vehicles and much more.

“We completed six construction projects that took over ten working days to complete,” said Mora. “We had 56 technical assists, which are projects that take less than 10 man-days to complete and we've seen and treated over 900 patients for medical treatment.”

The CAT-Palau also held community events with the locals, which included a Halloween carnival, a Christmas parade, a basketball tournament and more.

“Improving the community meant everything to the CAT,” said Mora. “Being able to provide free assistance and putting on massive free events like a haunted house meant everything for the locals. Seeing locals appreciate your presence and welcoming you into their community is an amazingly unique experience.”

Although the CAT-Palau’s time has come to an end for this rotation, they have left their mark on the Republic of Palau. Being able to train the locals so they can sustain and manage on their own was a big part of their mission there. Mora attested to this being a mission success when the locals helped him and his team out.

“We had our heavy equipment stuck up north with no way of getting it back to camp,” said Mora. “However, a local who was an apprentice years ago caught notice and pulled our equipment back to camp for maintenance free of charge. This really highlighted the lasting impressions the CAT has on the community, and it was awesome to see the locals give back so willingly.”

A job well-done by the CAT-Palau.      

“Everyone worked very hard, and I couldn't imagine a better team,” said Mora.