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Task Force Koa Moana: Building from the basics

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. William Hester | June 24, 2016

Since WWII, U.S. Marines have had rich history in the Asia-Pacific region. However, America's expeditionary, amphibious force hasn't had the opportunity to operate or train with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force directly since then.

U.S. Marines and Sailors with Task Force Koa Moana begin Exercise Koa Moana, June 19, 2016, with infantry tactics at Taurama Barracks, Papua New Guinea.

"You have to start at the bottom in order to build a strong foundation," said Cpl. Ryan R. Krohn, an infantryman with Task Force Koa Moana, originally assigned to Headquarters and Support Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

First Platoon, Task Force Koa Moana, comprised of infantry Marines and one Navy corpsman, has a mission to provide host nations with basic infantry tactics and an opportunity to exchange skill sets during their deployment in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The basics of tactics are always the same," said Cpl. Michael D. Chavez, an infantryman with the Task Force, originally assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. "How you apply them is what wins the battle."

The task force and soldiers with the PNGDF will spend the next week training in multiple military skills to increase interoperability and relations. Specifically, the infantry Marines will be conducting training in regards to urban patrolling, urban tactics, five paragraph order and weapons handling.

"The purpose is to show them how to operate at a team level, being able to work with U.S. Marines and any point," said Krohn, from Acworth, Georgia. "Being able to communicate with us and knowing each other's capabilities help us better implement each other in the fight."

This gives the Marines an opportunity to build relationships and the Papua New Guineans to learn team-level skills from the Marines.

"The biggest thing I can give them is my knowledge," said Krohn. "As infantryman, our job is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy on a fire-team level."

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