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Testing, attention please | Marines conduct COVID testing upon arrival in the Republic of Palau

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Zachery Bigus, conducts a COVID-19 test on U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Thomas Stona, commanding officer of Task Force Koa Moana (TF KM) 20, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) at the port of Malakal, Republic of Palau, July 22, 2020. Marines and Sailors with TF KM20, I MEF, are conducting engagements in the Republic of Palau from July through September 2020. Koa Moana, meaning “ocean warrior,” is designed to strengthen and enhance relationships between the U.S. and partner nations/states in the Indo-Pacific region, improve interoperability with local security establishments, and serve as a Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team afloat in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s strategic and operational objectives. TF KM20 provides a unique opportunity to enhance relationships in the Republic of Palau. The Koa Moana task force has taken extensive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of U.S. service members and Palauan citizens participating in TF KM20 is an enduring priority. Prior to deploying, all exercise members participated in a three-week quarantine. After arriving in Palau, the Marines and Sailors remain quarantined for an additional 14 days. To date, all members deployed as part of TF KM20 tested negative for COVID-19. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez)

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