U.S. Military To Conduct Training Exercises In Fiji, Tonga

Multilateral exercises to enhance military-to-military relations

By Losalini Bolatagici

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 1, 2016) – About 200 marine, sailors and Coast Guards from the US will be conducting training exercises in Fiji and Tonga this month.

The exercise, known as Koa Moana, meaning ocean warrior, is designed to improve interoperability and enhance military-to-military relations.

It will also see service members, conducting theatre security co-operation events in Asia-Pacific with partner nations including Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea.

The US Embassy in Fiji said the exercise would give US service members exposure to different types of terrain and familiarity of the region to improve their ability to respond in the event of a natural disaster.

"Koa Moana provides a unique training opportunity for building stronger relationships and promoting capacity for training," a statement from the embassy stated.

"The current 16-2 iteration will focus primarily on enhancing partnerships, improving US Marines' expeditionary proficiency and military engineering capabilities between the partners, while follow-on iterations will also feature US Pacific Fleet forces and other units assigned to Marine Forces Pacific."

According to the embassy, through continued multilateral training, the partnership between the US and its regional partners is enhanced and strengthened to ensure the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

The embassy says Koa Moana 16-2, like all multilateral training exercises, is dedicated to maintaining a flexible and effective force in readiness and is not connected to any events.

The personnel are from I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) and III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), US Navy 7th Fleet, and US Coast Guard's 14th District enforcement staff and Maritime Safety and Security Team, Honolulu.

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2016 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

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