Australia DCP Delivers Assets To PNGDF

The Australian Defence Force on March 1st presented an ensemble of soldier combat equipment and three vehicles to Papua New Guinea’s Defence Force (PNGDF).

The delivery of these assets is through the Defence Corporation Program (DCP).

These assets will contribute to the overall safety of PNGDF personnel during the operations of the country’s National General Elections come April this year.

The presentation of these various assets further strengthens the Papua New Guinea-Australia Defence relationship.

The assets consisted of 1,000 sets of field equipment collectively known as a soldier combat ensemble and 3,000 sets of uniforms in the trial pattern according to the new breakdown by service.

The Australian DCP previously delivered 1,500 sets of uniforms in an earlier procurement, together with 500 sets of body armor.

In addition, three medium-rigged cargo trucks were also signed over to the PNGDF under this latest iteration of procurement from the DCP, which brings the total number of trucks presented to eight. That adds to the fleet of fifty land cruiser troop carriers and other variants of vehicles that have recently been delivered as well.

Head of Australian Defence Staff Colonel Travis Gordon says he hopes the assets presented will support the PNGDF into the future.

The presentation of assets was the first event attended by Colonel Gordon in his capacity as the Defence Advisor to PNG.

“I’m very excited be here and it’s a really important occasion as well with the equipment.”

Colonel Gordon said the equipment are the bread and butter of soldiers.

“It is something that goes to my very heart as an infantry soldier that this type of equipment is what becomes our bread and butter. It helps us to survive in the field and it is something that we hope will support the PNGDF well into the future.”

Colonel Gordon said Australia’s DCP is substantial, highlighting other large projects like the redevelopment of the Lombrum Naval Base and the Guardian Class Patrol Boats.

PNGDF Commander, Major General Mark Goina in acknowledging the significant and continuous support of the Australian Defence Force through the DCP says as a country, PNG is on the receiving end of a larger portion of assistance compared to other regions supported by the DCP. 

Colonel Gordon said one of the distinctive factors of the DCP is their understanding of the personal requirements as well.

“And what you see here with the uniforms with the field equipment is an understanding of that personal requirement. How meaningful it is for soldiers to have new uniforms to put on, to have new equipment that works completely that enables them to operate in the field much more comfortably. And that is a distinctive factor that the Australian Defence Corporation Program focuses on and is certainly intended to be an enduring aspect in the future.”

In addition, Colonel Gordon revealed that the vehicles delivered come with an essential aspect, and that is of maintenance and sustainment package. The vehicles will sustained through a contract of arrangement to enable training of PNDF mechanics which will eventually allow them to maintain the vehicles themselves.

Commander Goina thanked Colonel Gordon and the Australian DCP for the delivery of the assets.  

“I am really really grateful on behalf of the PNGDF and also the PNG Defence organization, today it really demonstrates Australia’s continued commitment and demonstrates the friendship we share since the PNGDF was established.”

Commander Goina expressed the safety and security of the men and women of the PNGDF is paramount and thus the significance of the presentation of assets.

“It gives me great pleasure and honor to witness what we go through in trying to do the right thing in supporting the PNGDF personnel, men and women, as far as these equipment are concerned and as well as the Department of Defence in so many areas where they need assistance as well.”

Commander Goina said mobility is an essential part of troop support and thanked the DCP for those vehicles will support operations. Goina said once the elections are over, the vehicles will be brought back, put on stock and distributed to all units to be utilized for day-to-day administration and operations.

In addition, Commander Goina congratulated and wished Colonel Gordon and his team in PNG well as the Australian Army celebrates its 121st birthday.

Marysila Kellerton