SEVENTY-three new soldiers of Charlie Company of the 2nd Royal Pacific Island Regiment, have arrived at Moem Barracks, Wewak, to begin specialised infantry training.
The training of the new Charlie Company soldiers marks the beginning of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s companies of excellence training program, designed to breed a new generation of highly-trained, disciplined and well-equipped soldiers for the PNGDF.
An initiative of PNGDF Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, the program aims to increase the professionalism and capability of the PNGDF in line with the 2013 PNG Defence White Paper supported by Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program.
“Each company’s training is led by PNGDF officers and non-commissioned officers, and is supported by mentor training teams from 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 3rd Brigade, based in Townsville,” said the head of Australian Defence Staff, Colonel Dick Parker.
“This cooperation continues to build the strong personal links between the ADF and the PNGDF, which are essential for our shared regional security.”
The new Charlie Company soldiers will be trained to be M16 marksmen and to master the use of the MAG 58 machine gun, grenades and other high explosives.
They will be kept to a strict barracks routine and trained to peak physical fitness. Their training will include a lengthy field exercise in attacking and defending objectives as well as bush survival.
Another 77 soldiers will be trained through the program as Delta Company at the 1st Royal Pacific Islands Regiment at Taurama Barracks.