PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — Soldiers from both the 130th Engineer Brigade and the 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, participated in Tamiok Strike 22 from March 24-31.
As part of the U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s commitment to its partners and Allies, Tamiok Strike is a bilateral training exercise aimed at improving the combined interoperability of the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces and U.S. Forces. This exercise increases partner capacity for conventional, complex and future contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
“TKS22 is a continuation of a bilateral exercise between the PNGDF and the U.S. Army,” said Maj. Daniel M. Jansen, operations officer for 84th Engineers Battalion, 130th Eng. Bde. “The brigade’s role in TKS22 was to provide a command and control element for the military to military engagement teams that are training with the PNGDF. The mil-to-mil engagement provides an opportunity for soldiers from the brigade to teach and learn from the PNDGF.”
Although the roles of both the engineers and military police where different during the exercise, both units were vital to building readiness through bilateral mil-to-mil engagements and tough, realistic training spread across numerous locations.
“Every location has different opportunities, and the 2nd Royal Pacific Islands Regiment at Moem Barracks in Wewak allowed us the opportunity to train with one of their units,” said 1st Sgt. Joseph D. Chickos, 58th Military Police Company’s first sergeant, 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th MP Bde. “The PNGDF requested training on security tasks that many military police are experts in.”
Through bilateral exercises like TKS22, 8th TSC continues to solidify its enduring partnerships, while equipping both militaries to successfully meet today’s global and regional challenges.
“This exercise has enhanced our understanding of not only the regional challenges but also the rich history that the U.S. has shared with the people of PNG,” said Chickos.
During the exercise, 8th TSC and the PNGDF soldiers trained on scenario-based situations such as tactical combat casualty care, platoon-level cordon and search, room clearing, and reacting to contact.
“The PNGDF are an experienced group that are able to adapt and overcome numerous challenges to get the mission done while serving their country,” said Chickos. “It is admirable, and being able to partner with them is inspiring. These missions serve a lot of purposes, but the most important is the bonds created. If required, I would proudly serve alongside these men and women.”
Promoting and enabling interoperability by establishing irreplaceable relationships between U.S. forces and the PNGDF is a vital and direct effort in support of regional stability.
“This exercise builds significant and lasting relationships with our Indo-Pacific partners and allows the U.S. to create mutual trust and support in the effort of regional stability,” said Jansen. “The leaders that are conducting training at the platoon level are making strategic impacts for the future of the Indo Pacific region.”
As the 8th TSC continues to grow and mature logistics partnerships throughout the Pacific region, the command enables sustainment operations that assist with crisis response and upholds regional security and stability.
“This mission helps sustainment by showing us the challenges it would take to move a unit in and around an island like PNG if we would ever have the need to do so,” said Jansen. “It also builds on relationships that could lead to providing key sustainment infrastructure in the region as we continue to build on the strategic successes of the previous year’s exercise.”
Logistical networks cannot operate out of one location through these exercises, we gain an understanding of the logistical networks abroad, which is key to enhancing world-wide strategic capabilities, especially in the Pacific area of operation. Partnering with the PNGDF promotes a shared understanding of needed and available logistical support across remote and austere environments.
TK 22 affirms the U.S. Army’s role to achieve preparedness, build stronger partnerships with allies and partners and promote a networked and enhanced security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region. In only four years, USARPAC has moved from short, small-scale deployments of Reserve forces to large active-duty formations that execute sophisticated interoperability and capacity building activities.
This is the second iteration of Tamiok Strike in Papua New Guinea.