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April 16, 2021
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Naval Relationship with PNGDF Navy and US Marines

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A group of the United States Marines are in Port Moresby for an 8-day training program, with the PNG Defence Force Military Police.

Known as ‘Exercise Koa Moana’, the training is focused on policing procedures, non-lethal-weapons training, motorcade tactics and ground mounts.

Part of the exercise was a tour on board the US Navy Ship, Pililaau.

Over 70 military police personnel are undergoing this training at the Goldie Training Depot, outside Port Moresby.

This is the second time the US Marines are in the country under a joint training through the PNG and US Defence Force Program.

This time, they had invited senior members of the PNG, Australia and New Zealand Defence Forces to tour the massive US Navy Ship, Pililaau.

Because the ship was too big for the Lancron Naval Base, it was docked out at sea, between the Manubada and Fisherman’s islands.

The tour began at the top deck with a brief introduction by the ship’s captain, Thomas Madden.

Captain Madden has been captaining the USNS Pililaau for almost four years.

The USNS Pililaau is the size of five rugby fields, 16 stories high and is 300 metres in length.

It carries with it, over 800 machinery which are designed for rescue operations during natural disasters.

The ship crew consists of over 10 personnel with vast experience in sailing the Pacific Ocean.

It has 10 contractors who continuously work on the ship with close to 80 US Marines and 30 civilian staff.

Part of Exercise Koa Moana is to enhance military-to-military relations, and expose U.S. Marine Corps forces to different types of terrain for familiarity in the event of a natural disaster in the region.

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