‘Operation KIMBA’ applauded

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed on Operation KIMBA have been in PNG since early June at the request of the PNG Government to assist with the National Elections.

The ADF has more than 130 personnel and three aircraft operating from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) Air Transport Wing (ATW) in Port Moresby to provide planning, logistics and air transport support. This has involved transporting PNG Electoral Commission material, as well as Joint Security Task Force members all across the country.

The two C27-J Spartan and one C-130J Hercules aircraft have conducted numerous flights to a wide range of locations, including Weewak, Mt Hagen, Kiunga, Moro, Vanimo, Buka and Lae. The Spartan aircraft are particularly suited to landing in mountainous terrain on short runways, such as Telefomin and Wapenamanda.

The Commander of the ADF Joint Task Group on Operation KIMBA, Wing Commander Michael Rouhan, said the operation provided an opportunity for ADF and PNGDF personnel to enhance existing relationships and share expertise and skills.

“A wise PNGDF colleague of mine told me that ‘relationships are not about transactional activities, it is about being with us’,” said Wing Commander Rouhan.

“The shoulder-to-shoulder integration between ADF Operation KIMBA staff and the PNG ATW team in supporting the national election through air mobility effects, is a perfect example of such a strong relationship.”

This sentiment is shared by the ADF’s counterparts in the PNGDF. The Commanding Officer of ATW, Lieutenant Colonel Nancy Wii, said Operation KIMBA was a highlight in ATW’s longstanding partnership with the ADF.

“The ADF deployed here have provided technical training for our ATW personnel, giving our ground crew essential training, as well as our loadmasters and pilots accompanying flights,” said Lieutenant Colonel Wii.

“It has been really, really good, and the person-to-person relationship is very important. Our people are enjoying and benefiting from the experience.”

(The Joint Task Group with PNGDF Air Transport Wing personnel next to the ADF and PNGDF aircrafts used to provide logistics and air transport support for the operation)

Press Release