The Foreign Service Journal - December 2013 - page 22

22
DECEMBER 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
James B. Angell, a diplomatic courier officer, is the director of the
Bangkok Regional Diplomatic Courier Division (where he has served
twice previously). Since joining the Foreign Service in 1993, he has
served twice in Frankfurt, and once each in Seoul and Washington,
D.C. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do
not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S.
government.
A classic diplomatic courier
mission across the Pacific
recalls the history
of World War II.
BY JAMES B . ANGE L L
FEATURE
THE
ISLAND
HOPPER
O
ne of the classic diplomatic
courier missions is the Bangkok
Regional Diplomatic Courier
Division’s “Island Hopper,” a
10,000-mile round trip that
stretches across the planet from
Bangkok to Majuro, the capital
of the Marshall Islands on the
International Date Line, and
back. It is also a mission that encompasses much of the Pacific
theater of World War II.
Setting up the logistics for such a trip takes days of work
weeks ahead of time, with a detailed cable sent to multiple
personnel, at both State and Defense and at six U.S. missions
Jeff Lau
Pohnpei Island’s Nan Madol archaeological site, shown here, was
home to the Saudeleur Dynasty from 1100 to 1600. During World
War II, Japanese defenses on the island were so strong that the
U.S. chose to drop 118 tons of bombs on it rather than invade.
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