Approximately 200 Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) and III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), U.S. Navy 7th Fleet, and U.S. Coast Guard’s 14th District enforcement staff and Maritime Safety and Security Team, Honolulu personnel will participate in Exercise Koa Moana 16-2 and 16-4 scheduled from May to December. The service members will conduct theater security cooperation events in Asia-Pacific with several partner nations, including Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Fiji with exercise in Fiji and Tonga scheduled for July.
Exercise Koa Moana, meaning ocean warrior, is designed to improve interoperability and enhance military-to-military relations. The exercise will give U.S. 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.
The current 16-2 iteration will focus primarily on enhancing partnerships, improving U.S. Marines’ expeditionary proficiency and military engineering capabilities between the partners, while follow-on iterations will also feature U.S. Pacific Fleet forces and other units assigned to Marine Forces Pacific. Through continued multilateral training, the partnership between the U.S and its regional partners is enhanced and strengthened to ensure the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. 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 current events.