Papuan New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF)
Papuan New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), soldiers from Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Pacific Islands Regiment (A Coy 2 RPIR) trained recently with the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR).
The PNGDF soldiers were taught methods of operating in urban terrain at Line Creek Junction at the High Range Training Area near Townsville.
Held in June 2006, the training was part of an annual sub-unit exchange between the Australian Army and the PNGDF known as Exercise Wantok Warrior.
This phase reciprocated a visit to PNG by D Coy 1 RAR to PNG in October 2005. Wewak-based PNGDF liaison officer Captain James Smith said that the annual exchange presents an excellent opportunity for the ADF and PNGDF to practice interoperability.
The skills and knowledge the soldiers gathered from each other will help in operations in places where both nations operate such as the Solomon Islands.
A Coy, 2RPIR, 2nd in Command Captain Jimmy Dageyagl concurred adding that there was ongoing benefit to the Australian delivered training that helped skill up his troops to operate safely and competently in urban terrain.
Training for urban operations is new to our troops so the clear advantage for us is that this training will help minimise the chance of casualties and unnecessary damage if faced with having to operate in built up areas, he said.
A demonstration by the PNGDF troops of their new won skills took place at the Method of Entry Building, Lavarack Barracks. An impressed observer was Commander of the PNGDF, Commodore Peter Ilau.
Commodore Ilau said that one valuable aspect that such exchanges present is their role in building positive relationships.