U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Tongan Military Parade and Tattoo draws multinational crowd

By Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa | | August 08, 2011

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His Majesty, King George Tupou V, salutes the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, band officer after the conclusion of the band’s performance during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. The parade and Tattoo were held in honor of His Majesty’s birthday. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

His Majesty, King George Tupou V, salutes the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, band officer after the conclusion of the band’s performance during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. The parade and Tattoo were held in honor of His Majesty’s birthday. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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Musicians from the Australian Army Band Kapooka, the Tongan Royal Corps of Musicians and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band from Hawaii play their bugles during the closing ceremony of the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

Musicians from the Australian Army Band Kapooka, the Tongan Royal Corps of Musicians and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band from Hawaii play their bugles during the closing ceremony of the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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As part of a ritual, Tongan men from all the services join together to perform a dance during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

As part of a ritual, Tongan men from all the services join together to perform a dance during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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Tongan performers dance the tau’olunga while the Royal Corps of Musicians play music during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

Tongan performers dance the tau’olunga while the Royal Corps of Musicians play music during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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With knives in hand, sailors from the Tongan Navy demonstrate a series of martial arts techniques during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

With knives in hand, sailors from the Tongan Navy demonstrate a series of martial arts techniques during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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A four-man team prepares to extinguish a fire as part of a quick-response demonstration during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

A four-man team prepares to extinguish a fire as part of a quick-response demonstration during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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The Rural Development Unit, Tonga Defence Services, showcases their ability to construct a building in a short amount of time during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

The Rural Development Unit, Tonga Defence Services, showcases their ability to construct a building in a short amount of time during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band from Hawaii performs a medley of patriotic songs during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band from Hawaii performs a medley of patriotic songs during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band from Hawaii performs a medley of patriotic songs during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band from Hawaii performs a medley of patriotic songs during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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The Australian Army Band Kapooka shows a lighthearted display of musical theatrics while playing popular Aussie tunes during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

The Australian Army Band Kapooka shows a lighthearted display of musical theatrics while playing popular Aussie tunes during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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Soldiers from the Tongan Army maneuver their way over obstacles in a confidence course during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities.

Soldiers from the Tongan Army maneuver their way over obstacles in a confidence course during the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo, Aug. 2. A Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvorosa)


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NUKU’ ALOFA, Kingdom of Tonga -- Thousands of spectators gathered at Mala’e Pangai, a field in downtown Nuku’ Alofa, for the opening ceremony of the Kingdom of Tonga Military Parade and Tattoo in honor of the birthday of His Majesty, King George Tupou V, Aug. 1.

The three-day military musical spectacular, held Aug. 1 – 3, drew in a multinational audience observing performances by the Tongan military, Australian Army Band Kapooka and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band from Hawaii showcasing their wide array of talent and skills through musical stylings and military exhibitions, remarked Tongan Army Lt. Col. Lord Ve’ehala, the senior director of music for the Royal Corps of Musicians.

“Military units displayed their musical skills with humor, fun and entertainment,” Ve’ehala added, referring to the Tattoo performance. “They also demonstrated their skills in their corresponding jobs.”

Traditionally, a Tattoo is comprised of military units – musical and operational – from different countries collaborating in an extensive exhibition of musical performances and demonstrating military capabilities, explained Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael J. Smith, the band officer for the MARFORPAC Band.

Each time the lights were dimmed and the curtain pulled back, the audience awaited each new act to emerge onto the field as it became lit. And each time, they were treated to an amazing show of patriotism, said Ve’ehala.

With the clacking sounds of rifles, the Tattoo opened with the Tongan Royal Guard simultaneously flipping, spinning and maneuvering their rifles while fluidly marching in formation around the field.

Next up was the Australian Kapooka, who brought with them from “down under” a lighthearted display of musical theatrics playing popular Aussie tunes, such as “Waltzing Matilda,” “On the Road to Gundagai,” “Click Go the Shears” and many more.

Another highlight to the evening was the performance by the MARFORPAC Band playing traditional melodies with a more somber – yet stoic – tone. Their precision drill movements, coupled with their musical expressions of patriotism, gave the event a touch of American flavor.

However, what really stole the show were the performances by the Tongan Royal Corps of Musicians and the various military demonstrations by the Tongan forces. The musicians displayed a mixture of military marching and contemporary music while adding a bit of humor. The Tongan military simulated a battle drill, conducted a boarding party, maneuvered across the confidence course, responded to fires, constructed buildings and executed close-combat tactics.

“[The Tattoo was] well prepared, educational and entertaining; each unit mixed in some humor and invited the audience in to what they were doing,” said Smith, who also expressed his confidences in the Tongan forces’ abilities after having seen firsthand their motivation and professionalism throughout the Tattoo.

Not only was the parade and Tattoo a success, but according to Ve’ehala, “It was a great opportunity for Tonga to announce its diplomatic relationships [with Australia and the U.S.],” which further illustrated the cooperation between the three nations.