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27 March 2011

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Regi, I totally agree with you. PNGDF needs to be reformed with the changing political, strategic and economic environment. Australia should also do more in the current defence cooperation package.

In the past 15 years, the PNGDF capabilities has seriously eroded so it is now not an effective fighting force.

The constant financial constraints enforced upon the defence organisation since Independence has taken its toll over the last 36 years.

The PNGDF has lost much of its professionalism, credibility and integrity as a direct result of the Sandline Crisis in 1997.

The PNGDF command misused the military for the first time in its history to directly usurp the power of the State Authority (National Command Authority).

Since then, successive governments have ignored the PNGDF and left it much to its own devices despite repeated representations to higher authority to allocate it sufficient resources each year.

Thanks Barbara - Late last year the Defence Minister and Member for Kabwun, Bob Dadae MP, pushed through parliament, the International Obligation Bill. This will allow the PNGDF to participate in UN peacekeeping deployments overseas.

There is already a provision in the Defence Act and this is the fifth function for the PNGDF. This Bill expands upon it with legal basis and operating parameters for future international contingents.

The first team of UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) Observers induction course just completed their training in country. This was conducted for the PNGDF by a Australian Defence Force training team.

Such training given to the PNGDF is carried out under the New Defence Partnership agreement. This is an ongoing arrangement between the PNGDF and ADF under existing Defence Co-operation Program since Independence.

Beautifully written, Reg! I'm very out-of-touch with PNG affairs as I've been away on a great holiday in Victoria.

But I think I read somewhere that the PNG Defence Force were to get more involved in working for the UN and their various missions throughout the world.

I think this would be an excellent experience for the PNG Defence Force personnel and a great training ground.

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