U.S. Navy’s dry cargo ship USNS Sacagawea is scheduled to visit Port Moresby from June 17 to 24 as part of Exercise Koa Moana 16.2, a bilateral exchange between the U.S Marine Corps and the Papua New Guinea Defense Force.
In addition to working with Papua New Guinea, U.S. service members on the USNS Sacagawea will conduct security cooperation events in Asia-Pacific with several other partner nations, including Timor Leste, Tonga, and Fiji.
Exercise Koa Moana, which is Hawaiian meaning “Ocean Warrior”, is designed to improve interoperability and enhance military-to-military relations with partner nations.
The exercise will give U.S. service members exposure to different types of terrain and familiarity in the event of a natural disaster in the region. Exercise Koa Moana provides a unique training opportunity for building stronger relationships and promoting capacity for training.
Additionally, a combined U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard team will conduct operations to help combat transnational crime on the high seas within partner nations’ Exclusive Economic Zones.
The current Koa Moana iteration will focus primarily on improving partnerships, community relation projects, utilizing amphibious assets and engineering capabilities between the allied nations, while follow-on iterations will feature U.S. Pacific Fleet forces, such as the Navy’s 7th Fleet, and other units assigned to Marine Forces Pacific.