DILI, Timor-Leste -- A platoon of U.S. Marines with Company A, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, and Timor-Leste Defence Force members completed Exercise Koa Moana 15.2 in Dili, Timor-Leste, June 26.
The Marines embarked on the USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE-2) and arrived in Timor-Leste on June 20, completing a bilateral exercise with one platoon of the Timor-Leste Defence Force’s naval force and one platoon of their Marines, focusing on the fundamentals of squad and platoon-level tasks.
The training evolution covered military operations in urban terrain and focused on Marines teaching the Timor-Leste Defence Force members room clearing, urban patrolling and moving from building to building, and concluded with a 15-yard live-fire range.
The exercise allowed the Marines to train with another country and provided the opportunity to learn about their history, growth and development as a military force while experiencing a different culture.
“The USNS Sacagawea’s purpose is to stand off shore and support and deliver ammunition and any other supplies that are needed in support of exercises like Talisman Sabre,” said Master Sgt. Anthony A. Barrila, a Marine with 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, embarked aboard the USNS Sacagawea. “We are practicing that we can be anywhere anytime and that we can deliver what the infantry needs in order to support them in the battlefield and work with different host nations, such as Australia and East Timor, working in alliance together.”
The bilateral training exercise allowed the Marines to share their tactics, techniques and procedures with our international partner, strengthening the understanding of each other’s operating procedures.
“Our job was to support and transport a platoon of infantry Marines from Darwin, Australia to East Timor in order to do combined-arms exercise with the East Timor Defense Force,” said Gunnery Sgt. Peter A. Scott, a company gunnery sergeant with Combat Logistics Battalion 4, aboard the USNS Sacagawea.
Marines and Timor-Leste Defence Force members used their combined knowledge and technology to complete the bilateral training and showed how working together exposes U.S. Marines to various training environments while maintaining military partnerships with the Australian Defence Force and other regional partners throughout Southeast Asia.
“I think this is a good training exercise and so far everything we’ve done has impacted where we’ve been, specifically in East Timor,” said Barilla. “We shaped people’s minds and showed them our abilities in what we are able to provide to them and that helps our alliance with East Timor.”
The MRF-D six-month deployment demonstrates how the Marine Air-Ground Task Force is equipped and organized to carry out national objectives in cooperation with our national and international partners.