U.S. Marines with Task Force Engineer and Sailors with the 30th Navy Construction Force worked towards improving safety across multiple Pacific Island nations from Aug 25 to Oct 2. This intensive engineering project included the identification and removal of unexploded ordnance and construction of essential infrastructure.
TFE is a Marine Corps effort organized to supplement the NCF in a joint approach for engineering operations throughout the Pacific. Though primarily operating in Peleliu, Marines and Sailors improved facilities on Timor Leste and Tinian.
“These Marines and Seabees repaired Palau’s commercial port, improved the Timor Leste commercial airfield, and developed a marksmanship range for the Palauan police force,” said Major Patrick Burns, an operations officer for 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
“Being able to get the engineer communities in the Marine Corps and the Navy talking, working and executing together so that the next time we do it in a time of war, it’s not the first time.” U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant John Moran, a liaison officer attached to NCF
Operations in the Pacific also gives Marines and Sailors a chance to work side by side to solve problems.
“Being able to get the engineer communities in the Marine Corps and the Navy talking, working and executing together so that the next time we do it in a time of war, it’s not the first time,” said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant John Moran, a liaison officer attached to NCF, who facilitates operations between the Navy and Marine Corps.
While building toward a better future remains a top priority, removing UXO is a critical step to sustaining public safety.
Since World War II, UXOs have been a safety hazard for the island of Peleliu. With the known locations of WWII ordnance lost to time, explosive ordnance disposal teams clear public spaces of deadly UXO.
Partnerships with Island Nations help ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“This helps improve host nation infrastructure and our partnership with the community,” said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Zach Zyburt, an engineer officer with 7th ESB, 1st MLG.
Because of these efforts during TFE , an entire road on the south side of Peleliu is now safely accessible to residents. Future efforts will seek to clear the ridges and caves of additional hazards.
The Marine Corps and Navy remain committed to the Pacific Island Nations. TFE and NCF will continue to assist partners in building infrastructure, ensuring the security across pacific islands. The next rotation of Marines and Sailors is slated to deploy in 2023.