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Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, traveled to Nuku’alofa, Tonga, September 15-16, 2022 to affirm the longstanding partnership and bilateral relationship between the Kingdom of Tonga and the United States.
Paparo met with senior Tongan officials including:
The leaders discussed enhancing and strengthening the partnership to ensure regional maritime security, especially in areas of transnational crime, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and response to natural disasters caused by climate change.
During the visit, Paparo received a brief on naval capabilities and interoperability at Masefield Navy Base and toured the Guardian-class patrol vessel VOEA Ngahau Siliva (P302).
Paparo expressed appreciation to his Tongan counterparts for our shared history and sacrifice, and the continued partnership between our militaries, including Rim of the Pacific 2022 exercise where a platoon of Tongan Marines operated in CTF 176 Landing Force Component.
The visit to Tonga underscored the United States’ commitment to strengthening partnerships for an enduring free and open Indo-Pacific.