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NEWS | Aug. 3, 2023

Tamiok Strike kicks off with Opening Ceremony

By Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Brandenburg

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – Exercise Tamiok Strike 2023 kicked off with an opening ceremony July 31, 2023, as U.S. and Papua New Guinea Defence Force troops marched across Taurama Barrack’s parade field, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Tamiok Strike is a bilateral exercise sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific and hosted by the PNGDF with a focus on tactical interoperability.
Opening remarks were given by Chief of Force Prep for the PNGDF, Col. Craig Solomon, and Commander, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Col. Margaret McGunegle.
“Our country’s relationship with the United States has grown from strength to strength especially in the areas of military cooperation and assistance which has seen the signing of the much talked about Defense Cooperation Agreement, the DCA, as well as the Shiprider agreement,” Said Solomon. “This has also been reinforced by the visits of very important senior officials from the United States.”
This year is the third iteration of Tamiok Strike and the first to include Engineer construction techniques between the 130th ENG BDE and PNGDF. The two-week long exercise will take place at Taurama Barracks, Port Moresby; Moem Barracks, Wewak; and Ingam Barracks, Lae.
“We remain committed to our friendship and partnership with Papua New Guinea,” said McGunegle. “The Tamiok Strike exercise presents many opportunities for us to become closer and better together.”
The exercise involves approximately company sized elements from both the U.S. and PNGDF, and aims to enhance combined interoperability capabilities through training and cultural exchanges.
“The general aim of this exercise is to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. military and the PNGDF, with the intent to build interoperability, and foster enduring partnership while building readiness,” said Solomon.
“We are here together strengthening the bonds of friendship and reinforcing the U.S. commitment to our Oceania Treaty allies; training for the ever-increasing complexity of the 21st century; reinforcing joint readiness; and the interoperability to partner, work, and win together,” said McGunegle.
TKS23 provides excellent opportunities for community, professional, and cultural exchanges that strengthen our partnership through shared learning and training. Training includes expert academic exchanges and professional development workshops that focus on stability operations and engineer training at the company level and below.
“In just the first few days preparing for this exercise, I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of this nation, and the hospitality and friendliness of its people, said McGunegle. This is what builds partnerships and deepens relationships.”