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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Papua New Guinea Soldiers train with US Navy

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) recently completed its first ever direct training with the U.S. Marines.

Over 130 soldiers from the PNGDF, U.S. Marine Corps and the Navy took part in Exercise Koa Moana over a four-day period last week at the PNGDF Taurama Barracks outside Port Moresby.

The US Embassy deputy chief of mission, Joel F. Maybury, said PNG and the US continue to explore opportunities in military, economic and culture areas to strengthen their relationship and the exercise offered that opportunity.

“This exercise is going to be the first of what should be many opportunities to broaden and deepen the ties of friendship and professionalization,” he said in a statement released by the US military.

The US task force arrived in PNG on June 17 on the American navy supply vessel USNS Sacagawea from Timor Leste, where they were part of Exercise Crocodilo 16, which is part of their deployment in the Asia-Pacific region.

The PNGDF maritime element had the opportunity to test their capabilities by using one of their naval vessels to transport the marines, sailors and their gear from ship to ship to shore.

“The purpose of Exercise Koa Moana, which means ‘ocean warrior’ in the Hawaiian language, is to practice skills in various military fields, resulting in a skills transfer between both organizations,” said Colonel Siale Diro, chief of force preparation for land and sea elements in the PNGDF.

“It is important to build our relationship and our military partnership with our allies.”

The PNGDF has trained frequently with the U.S. Army, but this marks the first opportunity for them to train with the U.S. Marines directly, specifically in infantry tactics, combat lifesaving techniques, engineering capabilities and non-lethal law enforcement capabilities.

“This exercise provides a very good platform to build our relationship with the U.S. Marines,” added Mr Diro.

“We have a long standing relationship with the U.S. military. We understand their role in the region and we share the same values of liberty, individual rights, democracy and freedom of speech.”

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 3:20 AM. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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