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    USNS Pililaau Arrives in Vanuatu for KOA MOANA 16-4

    161021-N-QV906-036

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Micah Blechner | 161021-N-QV906-036 PORT VILA, Vanuatu--Contracted mariners, U.S. Navy Sailors, and...... read more read more

    Maritime preposition force ship USNS Pililaau (T-AKR 304) arrived in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in support of KOA MOANA 16-4 (Ocean Warrior), Oct. 21.

    The KOA MOANA (Ocean Warrior) exercise series seeks to enhance senior military leader engagements between allied and partner nations with a collective interest in military-to-military relations and to discuss key aspects of military operations, capability development, and interoperability.

    Pililaau's unique capabilities and mission sets were a perfect match for hosting the major players in this multistage series of bilateral exercises. About 76 U.S. Marines attached to Task Force KOA MOANA 16-4, 14 U.S. Navy Sailors attached to Assault Craft Unit ONE and Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron THREE, and 35 Military Sealift Command contracted mariners attached to Pililaau have been working side-by-side since Aug. 21, 2016, carrying out missions in Peru, Tonga, and Fiji before arriving in Vanuatu.

    As an MSC maritime preposition force ship, the Pililaau acts as a storehouse for military vehicles, weapons, and auxiliary equipment along with full humanitarian aide/disaster relief supply packages. Pililaau normally operates within an imaginary bounding box in specified areas of U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility allowing it quickly reach shores from Guam in the east to Japan and Korea in the west when called into action.

    “When it comes to KOA MOANA, [Pililaau] is here to help the U.S. Marines aboard interact with various nations throughout the course of this exercise series,” said Pililaau Chief Mate Michael Duley. “Through these interactions the Marines are able to create bonds that build further working relationships to assist in better maritime security. We are here to do whatever we can to assist them.”

    MSCFE contracted mariners play essential roles when it comes to this much-needed assistance. Able-Bodied Seaman and Ordinary Seaman exclusively work the cranes and deck equipment that play a vital role in the movement of U.S. Marine Quadcons, standardized shipping containers used throughout the Department of Defense, from the deck and storage bays of Pililaau to maritime prepositioning force utility boats and eventually shore. Additionally, these 35 contracted mariners provide meals to all living aboard, pilot the ship, and maintain every inch of the 949 ft. ship.

    Pililaau occasionally hosts distinguished visitors and serves as an example to other military forces as to how applied strategic logistics can be executed safely and efficiently in both war and peace.

    “The Marines traveling with us regularly bring counterparts from these host nations aboard to show off what our ship provides,” explained Madden. “We take these guests up to the wheel-house, down in to our cargo holds and through our mess decks and living quarters. We show off all of our capabilities so others can learn how to do what we do.”

    Once the exercise in Vanuatu has concluded, Pililaau, her crew, and embarked Marines and Sailors will head to three more ports-of-call including New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and Guam.

    Exercise KOA MOANA 16-4 is a four-month international exercise with participants form the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and host nation participants from various countries in the Pacific Island Nations of Oceania and Peru.

    MSC Operates approximately 115 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy Ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by U.S. forces and coalition partners.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.21.2016
    Date Posted: 10.26.2016 09:25
    Story ID: 212531
    Location: PORT VILA, VU 

    Web Views: 421
    Downloads: 3
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