INDEPENDENT NEWS

Australia Helps Strengthen PNG Defence Force

Published: Mon 19 Dec 2005 03:12 PM
Australia Helps Strengthen PNG Defence Force
Australia will continue to help the Papua New Guinea Government to reform and strengthen its Defence Force and will focus on increasing PNG's regional counter terrorism capabilities over the next year.
Defence Minister Robert Hill, who today attended the annual Australia and PNG Ministerial Forum held on the Gold Coast Queensland, said the talks aim to further build the bilateral Defence partnership between Australia and PNG. As part of the Forum Senator Hill held talks with PNG Defence Minister Mathew Gubag.
Senator Hill said the Australian Defence Force is committed to working with the PNG Defence Force next year on counter terrorism training, maritime patrols and Defence organisation structures and procedures.
The Government will appoint two more Australian Defence Force officers to key position within the PNG Defence Force early next year.
"Two more ADF officers will move into line positions within the PNG Defence Force to provide advice on logistics and personnel matters," Senator Hill said.
"This follows the successful deployment early this year of two ADF officers to line positions in strategic planning and training coordination roles within the PNG Defence Force.
"These in-line positions are in addition to 16 ADF Defence staff who work with the PNG Defence Force in training, logistics, governance, operational planning, maritime security and operations, assistance and advisory roles.
"This hands-on assistance is making a real difference in improving the internal workings, processes and capabilities of the PNG Defence Force.
"This support is in addition to other projects under the Defence Cooperation Program, such as assisting PNG with Defence infrastructure works and providing uniforms to assist the PNG Defence Reform Program.
"Australia's focus is on helping the PNG Government achieve its goal of developing a more effective and sustainable Defence Force," Senator Hill said.
"I congratulate the PNG Government, Minister Gubag and Commander PNG Defence Force Commodore Peter Ilau for the continuing commitment to reforming their Defence Force."

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