In a demonstration of their commitment to the partnership, the U.S. Marines have embarked on a unique project, collaborating with their Papua New Guinean counterparts to construct a new church at the Air Transport Wing.
The joint efforts between the United States and Papua New Guinea extend beyond the construction project. Over the next few weeks, the U.S. Marines will also commence work on refurbishing a range, with the aim of improving training capabilities for the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF).
This joint capacity training and infrastructure improvement exercise has been ongoing since 2016, highlighting the enduring partnership between the two nations.
Damian Wampler, spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy, emphasized the collaborative nature of the program.
Wampler stated: "The USA and PNG have been working together on this program since 2016 at the request of the government of PNG. As Chargé d'Affaires Joe Zadrozny highlighted during our Independence Day celebration, 'As PNG progresses on its path to development, the United States is committed to supporting and assisting, with Papua New Guinea at the helm’.”
The significance of this collaboration extends beyond Papua New Guinea, as the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau have also expressed interest in joining Task Force Koa Moana, a program symbolized by the phrase "ocean warrior" in Hawaiian.
While some members of Task Force Koa Moana arrived earlier in July, an additional group of Marines and Sailors from Task Force Koa Moana 23 arrived in Port Moresby last night, further strengthening the partnership.
Hailing from the I Marine Expeditionary Force, these dedicated service members are responding to the specific requests made by the Papua New Guinea Defense Force, aiming to support a variety of mutually agreed-upon engineering projects and community engagements planned for the summer.
The arrival of U.S. Marines and Sailors in PNG reflects the unwavering commitment of both nations to fostering progress and development.
By working hand in hand with their Papua New Guinean counterparts, the U.S. forces are contributing their expertise and resources to enhance infrastructure, improve training capabilities, and cultivate a stronger bond between the United States and Papua New Guinea.