US Marines during the opening ceremony for the Koa Moana military exercise at the Ngarachmayong Cultural Center on November 26. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)
Palau’s joint military exercise with the United States Marines and sailors under the Tasked Force Koa Moana was officially opened in a ceremony held at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center on November 26.
Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch and US Ambassador Amy Hyatt graced the event.
Oilouch, in his speech, said that Palau supports the US’ free and open Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Koa Moana, which is the Hawaiian word for “Ocean Warrior”, is part of the US Indo-Pacific Command exercise. This year, it has already engaged with Pacific Island countries such as the French Polynesia and Vanuatu for the same military exercise. After Palau, it is also set to move to the Federated States of Micronesia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to do the same engagements.
A line up of activities are prepared that will primarily focus on trainings on law enforcement, airfield security, disaster response, and as well as community engagements.
Over a hundred US marines and sailors will be joining the military exercise.
The team is also set to coordinate with the Ministry of Education (MOE) on their plans to visit schools and raise students’ awareness on drugs and human trafficking.
Aside from that, the students will also be informed of opportunities available for them in the US Military.