Navy Honors Polynesian Voyagers at Koa Kai Golf Tournament
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR - Destroyer Squadron 31 (DESRON 31) hosted the Koa Kai Golf Tournament at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii Nov. 23.

The tournament was held after the recently completed Exercise Koa Kai 11-1, Nov. 12-17.

Koa Kai is the primary integrated training event for the middle Pacific surface combatant units with the goal of achieving deployment certificates and training.

Units participating in the tournament included surface ships from Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific; Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two, Patrol Squadron Special Projects Unit Two, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

During the tournament, Capt. Richard Clemmons, commander of DESRON 31, presented a check from the proceeds of the tournament to the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

"The recent Koa Kai exercise was another example of the Navy's shared values with the Polynesian Voyaging Society," Clemmons said. "Through Koa Kai, we are able to train on, under and over the water to sharpen skills and learn new techniques. Our ultimate goal is to better defend ourselves, our friends and our allies here in the Pacific."

Al Ontiveros accepted the check on behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and expressed his appreciation for the monetary donation.

"Money is hard to come by for us, and this will definitely help us out. We really appreciate the generosity of the Navy for providing us with this donation," Ontiveros said.

Recently the Polynesian Voyaging Society partnered with Wai'anae High School to discuss voyaging health and nutrition. The Society routinely shows how math, science and engineering are integrated in the technology and art of voyaging.

With a legacy of ocean exploration as its foundation, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is committed to undertake voyages of discovery to respect, learn from, and perpetuate through practicing heritage and culture, and to promote learning which integrates voyaging experiences and values into quality education.

Koa Kai supports the Pacific Fleet's Mid-Pacific Surface Combatant Operational Employment (MPSCOE) program, which calls for all of the Hawaii-based surface combatants to use the strategic location in the middle Pacific to conduct intermediate and advanced training.
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