Exercise Koa Moana Joint Military Training Concluded in Vanuatu (November 1, 2016)

Port Vila, Vanuatu: U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Catherine Ebert-Gray today attended the exercise Koa Moana 15-3 Vanuatu closing ceremony at the Vanuatu Police Force base.

Ambassador Ebert-Gray commended all the participants of this exercise for their participation and said their efforts reflect the best values of a real partnership between the United States and Vanuatu.

“It is through people-to-people and military-to-military exchanges like this that we build deeper mutual trust and cooperation between our two great countries. That kind of cooperation is a foundation stone for enduring peace and security and a tangible manifestation of President Obama’s desire to increase our engagement in the Pacific,” said Ambassador Ebert-Gray.

During the past two weeks, both countries’ security forces completed training on policing techniques, domestic violence intervention, defensive tactics, basic field medical care and an engineering civic action program. These forces rebuilt a number of structures that had been destroyed during the devastation of Cyclone Pam.

Ambassador Ebert-Gray said that this was a learning experience for both sides, and they are better prepared to collaborate and be ready to take on future challenges.

Exercise Koa Moana, which in Hawaiian means “Ocean Warrior,” is designed to improve cooperation and enhance military-to-military relations with partner nations. Exercise Koa Moana will continue on to New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea.