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    Koa Moana 23: PNGDF Hosts Fire-Starting Class

    KM23: PNGDF Hosts Fire-Starting Class for U.S. Marines, Sailors

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Ricardo Ramirez | U.S. Marines and Sailors with Task Force Koa Moana 23 participated in a fire-starting...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Courtney White 

    1st Marine Logistics Group

    U.S. Marines and Sailors with Task Force Koa Moana 23 participated in a fire-starting class hosted by Papua New Guinea Defense Force Warrant Officer Class 2 Steven Baloiloi on Goldie River Training Camp, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, July 20, 2023.

    Papua New Guinea is part of Task Force Koa Moana’s deployment to the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen relationships with Pacific Island partners through bilateral and multilateral training.

    The informal period of instruction was taught by Baloiloi, a native of Milne Bay Province and the PNGDF Warrior Wing sergeant major.

    According to Lance Cpl. Jalen McLean, the class was unscheduled, but very much appreciated by the service members.

    “He is a really nice guy,” said McLean, a native of Baldwin, New York and a transmissions system operator with the task force. “We asked him for a coconut from their coconut tree and he said sure. He helped us get the coconut down. He cut the coconut and showed us the difference between the brown coconut and the white coconut and how to pick the soft ones, not the hard ones.”

    Additionally, Baloiloi taught the Marines and Sailors how to create fire using wood, coconut husks and coconut leaves.

    “You just need wood and friction,” said Baloiloi. “Don't bring a burning fire with you. You need to learn how to make your own fire. Don’t bring a lighter when practicing perfecting the skill - you will become dependent on it. You must master it; Make your own fire!”

    Throughout the class, Baloiloi reminded the Marines and Sailors to watch for thick smoke as it is an indicator of fire.

    “It was fun, but tough," said McLean. "The smoke felt like the gas chamber, but it was a great experience.”

    At the conclusion of the class, Baloiloi offered to host other basic survival classes for the Marines and Sailors over the remainder of their time in Papua New Guinea.

    “The people in PNG are really nice and really inclusive,” said McLean. “They all want to get to know you. It makes you feel welcomed."



    Date Taken: 07.20.2023
    Date Posted: 07.21.2023 21:01
    Story ID: 449607
    Location: PORT MORESBY , PG
    Hometown: BALDWIN, NY, US

    Web Views: 152
    Downloads: 0