TOP U.S. OFFICIALS VISIT KWAJALEIN

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State Department rep praises Army’s positive work

By Ruth Frances Miskovsky (SMDC/ARSTRAT)

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, April 6, 2011) - The U.S. Department of State turned its eyes toward the Marshall Islands and Kwajalein in general during a recent trip to the area by an official from the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Frankie Reed, the deputy assistant secretary for this region, along with U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands Martha Campbell, joined Iroij Senator Michael Kabua for a five-island whirlwind tour of Kwajalein Atoll.

The itinerary for this trip was packed and Reed and Campbell spent their time in the atoll doing everything from being briefed on Kwajalein and Roi, visiting schools on Ennibur to meeting RMI officials on Ebeye - all in two days.

Despite the short timeframe, Reed had some important points to take away from this trip. She commented on the positive work the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll is doing in the atoll, the interaction between the U.S. and R.M.I. citizens and some of the challenges for Kwajalein Atoll.

"The work USAKA is doing out here is having a great impact," Reed said. She also noted that it’s not just the Army that’s contributing to the area. Private organizations are donating time and money to the communities. Even this interaction at the local level strengthens the partnership between the United States and the Marshall Islands, according to Reed.

Col. Joseph Gaines, USAKA commander, discussed some of the issues brought up at a recent USAKA/RMI Community Relations Council meeting with Reed and Campbell. He also briefed the two State Department officials on the USAKA mission, including a tour of Roi-Namur and some of USAKA’s assets there.

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