A CEREMONY to welcome 130 Australian Army engineers participating in Exercise Puk Puk was held at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby yesterday.
Exercise Puk Puk is an annual engineering activity intended to strengthen ties between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF).
It is funded by the Australian Defence Cooperation Program, and this year involves 35 soldiers from the PNGDF Engineer Battalion in Lae working with the Australian engineers to upgrade the facilities at Murray Barracks.
“Exercise Puk Puk is about building capability and relationships as well as buildings,” said Australian Defence Advisor to PNG, Colonel Mark Shephard. “Partnering and mentoring are key military skills that all armies need these days.”
Exercise Puk Puk has been held annually since 2003. Previously projects have been conducted at Igam Barracks, Moem Barracks, the Kiunga Forward Operating Base, and Taurama, Murray Barracks and Goldie River Training Depot in Port Moresby.
The ADF contingent is led by 25 Support Squadron of the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, from 3rd Brigade, based in Townsville. Some 24 construction and field engineering specialists from PNGDF’s Engineer Battalion, based at Igam Barracks in Lae, are also participating.
Photo: Australian Army Private Fischer (centre) already making friends with members of a Siassi singsing group
Source: Australian High Commission, 7 September