HMS Tamar PSS Kedam and JS Kirimase off Palau 05082022 CREDIT Royal Navy MOD.jpg
HMS Tamar with PSS Kedam and JS Kirimase off Palau (Picture: Royal Navy/ MOD).
Navy

Navy warship visits fourth smallest country on the planet – renewing ties after 97 years

HMS Tamar arrived in Malakal Harbour off the capital Koror as part of a US-led peace/goodwill mission.

HMS Tamar PSS Kedam and JS Kirimase off Palau 05082022 CREDIT Royal Navy MOD.jpg
HMS Tamar with PSS Kedam and JS Kirimase off Palau (Picture: Royal Navy/ MOD).

HMS Tamar has become the first British warship to visit the fourth smallest country on the planet in nearly 100 years during an international goodwill mission.

The crew of the warship presented the White Ensign to leaders in Palau – an act that was last performed 97 years ago.

In May 1925, minesweeper HMS Bluebell was the last to present the White Ensign to the country of 500 islands and a population of 18,000.

Members of HMS Tamar's ceremonial Sunset Party standby to haul down the ships White Ensign 05082022 CREDIT Royal Navy, MOD
Members of HMS Tamar's ceremonial Sunset Party stand by to haul down the ship's White Ensign (Picture: Royal Navy/ MOD).

Royal Navy patrol ship Tamar arrived in Malakal Harbour, off the capital Koror, as part of a US-led peace and goodwill mission, accompanied by the 1,000-bed hospital ship USNS Mercy.

The hospital ship is the flagship of Pacific Partnership 22 – a two-month deployment to remote communities around the Indo-Pacific, supported by US allies.

She delivered medical aid and assistance, supported community projects, assisted with infrastructure and took part in sporting and community activities.

Navy officer Captain Charles Maynard is the deputy commander of the mission from the USNS Mercy, and Royal Navy medical officer Lieutenant Lesley Hailey is part of the international team on the hospital ship.

Tamar has joined Pacific Partnership 22 for the deployment's closing weeks.

HMS Bluebell in May 1925 showed the White Ensign to the people of the Republic of Palau DATE UNKNOWN Credit Royal Navy MOD
Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Bluebell showed the people of the Republic of Palau the White Ensign in 1925 (Picture: Royal Navy/ MOD).

During the six-day visit to Palau, Tamar hosted its president, Surangel Whipps Jr, and numerous senior government officials to show what the ship and its company are capable of, before opening the passageway to some of the country's 18,000 inhabitants.

There were discussions on how the nations involved in Pacific Partnership – Australia, Japan, the UK and the USA – could provide assistance, specifically related to humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and medical exchanges.

Medical teams from USNS Mercy worked with the hosts in sharing guidance and expertise on a range of health and wellbeing issues including paediatric, maternity, neonatal, intensive and critical care, mental health for military veterans, and physical therapy.

Lieutenant Commander Matt Millyard, HMS Tamar's Executive Officer said he looks "forward to continuing to build" on their partnerships in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.