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July 9, 2023

USA and PNG Revamp Task Force Koa Moana

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. – At the request of the government of Papua New Guinea, Task Force Koa Moana returns to PNG again. Task Force Koa Moana 23, comprised of U.S. Marines and Sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force, have deployed to Papua New Guinea to support PNG’s stability, security, and prosperity. Their goal is to strengthen relationships with Papua New Guinea through a bilateral and multilateral security cooperation exercise that runs from June until September. The exercise includes capacity training and infrastructure improvement projects. Koa Moana is an ongoing partnership that began in 2016.

A U.S. Marine and PNGDF soldier level the ground to place a gabion basket during Exercise Koa Moana 19 in Lae in 2019

Task Force Koa Moana 23 is comprised of approximately 200 U.S. Marines and Sailors from 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group and I MEF Information Group who will organize into multiple detachments. These detachments will conduct subject matter expert exchanges throughout Papua New Guinea at the request of the government of Papua New Guinea. The task force established a mutual agreement with Papua New Guinea to provide expertise in engineering, medical care, infrastructure development and community engagements.

Named “Koa Moana,” a Hawai’ian phrase meaning “ocean warrior,” the task force is designed to strengthen relationships between the U.S. and Papua New Guinea, enhance cooperation with PNG security establishments, and support national sovereignty of across the Oceania region.

The Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau also requested to participate in Task Force Koa Moana as well.