If you have been seeing large military planes overhead in the last few days, it is the Marines returning with the Task Force Koa Moana for the 23rd mission.

Task Force Koa Moana 23, comprised of U.S. Marines and Sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force, deployed to the Indo-Pacific. Their goal is to strengthen relationships with Pacific Island partners through a bilateral and multilateral security cooperation exercise.

The first group of Marines arriving in Palau will get there later this week, according to 1stLt Arthur Deal, COMMSTRAT OIC of the Task Force Koa Moana.

“The projects for Palau focus on infrastructure and community engagements.

Road and range repairs, Palau veterans’ engagements, medical subject matter exchanges, and any other opportunities for community engagement as we find them,” added 1st Lt. Arthur Deal.

Task Force Koa Moana 23 comprises approximately 200 U.S. Marines and Sailors from the 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group, and I MEF Information Group, who will organize into multiple detachments. These detachments will conduct subject matter expert exchanges throughout Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau at the request of each nation. The task force established a mutual agreement with these nations to provide expertise in engineering, medical care, infrastructure development, and community engagements.

Named “Koa Moana,” a Hawai’ian phrase meaning “ocean warrior,” the task force is designed to strengthen relationships between the U.S. and Pacific Islands partners, enhance cooperation with local security establishments and support national sovereignty across the Oceania region.

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