Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo

PNGDF CASA grounded

PNG Defence Force Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, confirmed this, saying: “Payments have been made to order the parts of the gear box from overseas.”

The Commander however, did not give a response to how much it would cost to have the propeller gear box (PGB) fully serviced.

According to the Accident Investigation Commission (AIC), the aircraft sustained an engine failure on 13th July 2016 during a flight from Telefomin to Vanimo, Sandaun Province, necessitating the removal of the right engine PGB at Vanimo Aerodrome. 

More PNGDF personnel deployed to Highlands

They will provide back up support with regards to the law and order issues and the PNG LNG site security concerns at the Hides gas conditioning plant.

PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, informed this newsroom whilst giving an update of the troops’ operations and work up in the province.

Along with recent decisions made by the National Executive Council to extend the period of the callout, troops have been deployed since after the elections and have continued to maintain presence in the province.

PNGDF manpower growing: Commander

The government through the 2013 Defence White Paper directs that the Papua New Guinea Defence Force increase its manpower from the current constitutionally mandated strength of 5,000 to 10,000 by the year 2030.

Although the PNG Constitution does not allow the PNGDF to recruit manpower of 10,000, the government is working on the legislation to accommodate the direction to increase the force as required.

Nevertheless, after successive recruitments, the force has now reached 4,000 personnel; a 2,000 manpower increase from previous years’ recruitments.

Busy year for PNGDF

This year will see the hosting of the APEC Leaders’ Summit in PNG and the PNG Defence Force is expected to play a significant role in ensuring that security and the environment is conducive for 21 APEC world leaders.

This was reiterated in the PNGDF Commander’s keynote address in yesterday’s mass.

Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo said: “It is in my view that as we start 2018, we commit the year to God as you and I know our calling is to serve our government and to serve our people.”

2018 intent for PNGDF

These are; the establishment of the Joint Service College, the development of the forward deployed Combat Services Support Teams and progress in gender integration.

PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, said the JSC heralds the start of greater integration with the sister security sector partners, police and correctional service.

Toropo on PNGDF budget cut

PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, says regardless of that, the Force understands what the government and the whole country is going through with the effects of falling commodity prices in the world market.

He said it is unfortunate that there is nothing anyone can do.

Commander Toropo said what the Force will do as a defence organisation is to realign its priorities to make sure its core activities are maintained.

“One of our core activities is to ensure that our border patrols are maintained and supported,” he said.

PNGDF under transformation

In his address at the end-of-year parade this morning at Murray Barracks, PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, said 2017 has been very successful for the PNGDF.

This goes as well for the dedication and commitment of all ranks in the Force.

Toropo said while the PNGDF have been beset by financial and other challenges this year as with previous years, they have achieved some tremendous results as well.

“We have continued to transform the Force while undertaking our core tasks with commitment and professionalism.”

White paper policy a major PNGDF task

PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, said this during their end-of-year mass in Port Moresby.

Commander Toropo said in 2014, when teh White Paper was launched, certain priorities were set which brought the force together when the defence white paper was launched.

“Apart from the four core tasks of the white paper policy, one of the most important tasks was to implement the policy and that is a huge task.”

This saw the downsizing of manpower from 5,000 to 2,000.

He enunciated to staff and soldiers present that the tasks have not changed.

Commander’s final 2017 walk

The commander’s walk has been part of the PNGDF activity all throughout the year as well as one of the major activities of the force.

It is a monthly activity that takes place every first Friday of each month which sees the participation of the PNGDF commander with his entire branch heads and staff.

The PNGDF final walk concludes the physical training activities for the operational year of 2017.

The commander’s monthly walk provides the opportunity within the force to promote PNGDF’s fitness policy by demonstrating leadership in maintaining their own fitness level.

PNGDF takes control of processing centre

PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo says the Defence Force presence is to ensure safety and security.

“As a government agency, PNGDF has been very happy to support our government decision to host the centre. Now the decision has been made to close down the centre, and we have to comply as part of all Government approach.”

Extra troops have been sent to Lombrum to support the unit commander in Lombrum maintain security of the place since all services to the centre, including security, were shut down.