REBECCA QUILLIAM | New Zealand Herald | APNZ
Captain Anika Tiplady was deployed for two weeks to PNG to help train the 24 officers - four of them the first women officers to serve their country.
It was the first officer training the country had run for 10 years, and Captain Tiplady said it was great to be able to help mentor the women and inspire them to be the best they could be.
The training wasn't a walk in the park and was designed to push the officers to the limit, she said.
"The point of the exercise was to put them under physical and mental pressure and in doing that we restricted a bit of food, we limited the amount of sleep they had and then we assessed them on how they coped with that pressure and how they maintained their leadership under pressure."
All the trainees received the same treatment, including weapon training, but the women were unlikely to be deployed in combat roles, Captain Tiplady said.
"It's likely they'll be in more logistical support roles."
Violent incidents in recent years have marked PNG as unsafe.
But Captain Tiplady said the locals were "the friendliest people I've ever met".
"I've never been anywhere where I've had so many strangers come up to me and shake my hand and say hello.
"I guess they were intrigued by a white woman in uniform."
She said the challenge was satisfying and hoped one day to be able to return.