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3 PNGDF officers graduate from Duntroon


THREE MEMBERS of the PNG Defence Force have graduated from the Royal Military College of Australia as second lieutenants.

They were among 77 final year cadets who took part in the passing out parade at Duntroon, Canberra, yesterday. The parade was reviewed by the head of the Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.

The new PNG officers are Wilfred Koibu of 1PIR Taurama Barracks, Alphonse Bioe of PNGDF Headquarters at Murray Barracks and Lads Alex of the engineering unit in Lae.

The general service officer course comprises three classes each of six months duration. The training at Australia’s premier officer training institute, is considered intense and demanding and prepares cadets for military careers by promoting learning, leadership and integrity.

A total of 85 Papua New Guineans have now graduated from the college.


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Reginald Renagi

Congratulations to the three PNG Defence Force officers: Wilfred Koibu, Alphonse Bioe and Lads Alex on successfully passing out with their new Queen's commission officer-ranks from the Royal Military College (RMC), Duntroon in Canberra.

The PNGDF and their country are proud of their hard work and achievements.

For many years now the PNG Defence Force has sent its best performing officer cadets of the land element (Army) to the RMC for training before returning as commissioned Second-Lieutenants to serve in their country's military. A proud moment for the three young officers, their family, the PNGDF and PNG.

The Maritime and Air Element also have similar officer training courses with the Australian Defence Force. These programs are under the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) between the PNGDF and the ADF as part of existing bilateral relations.

In recent years, a PNG/Australia DCP review was carried out by a special defence team (this writer was the deputy chairman of the PNG team).

This review resulted in the launching of the New Defence Partnership (NDP) which consolidated and enhanced existing closer defence relations links between the PNGDF and the ADF.

Apart from government links between PNG and Australia, the link between the military forces was forged after WW2 up to and beyond the establishment of the PNG Defence Force. The force comprises the three elements of the Australian armed forces prior to PNG's Independence, wholly localised.

Despite the occasional political differences over the years between the politicians of our neighbouring nations, the strong operational contacts, friendships and professional exchanges between the PNG Defence Force and the ADF remain very close to this day.

There will always be a special relationship and a strong bond. No PNG government department has the strong professional bond with any Australia federal agencies to match that which the PNGDF has with the ADF.

This is good security investment for the future. If ever there is a national defence emergency affecting both countries, I have confidence that PNG will come to Australia's aid as its forefathers did on " Bloody Kokoda" nearly 70 years ago.

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