Sailors and marines aboard the U.S. Navy’s Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) arrived in Port Moresby, April 15, for a theater security cooperation (TSC) engagement with the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF).
During the visit, U.S. marines and sailors are training alongside the PNGDF to improve their ability to provide security for national-level events, such as the national elections this year and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation annual summit in 2018.
“We are honored to be here as a demonstration of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ commitment to strengthen ties with Papua New Guinea’s forces and build on the great work accomplished during Exercise Koa Moana 2016,” said Cmdr. Bradley Coletti, commanding officer of Comstock.
The bilateral training covers a variety of skill sets, but focuses on military support to civil authority tactics and procedures, which include entry control and vehicle check points, escalation of force tactics, personnel searches, urban patrolling, and VIP escorts.
Additionally, the TSC engagement includes combat lifesaving techniques, field communications and weapons maintenance. Comstock’s crew will host PNGDF service members for shipboard tours and familiarization of Navy damage control procedures. Similarly, PNGDF leaders will host their U.S. service member counterparts on a WWII memorial tour.
This is the sixth military-to-military TSC exchange for the Makin Island ARG/11th MEU during their deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.