‘Heroic efforts’ praised


MINISTER for Defence Solan Mirisim wants the engineering battalion at Igam to continue their good effort in nation-building.
He noted some pivotal functions the PNG Defence Force has been involved with by contributing to the state and people security and protection, civil service and national and international obligations in peacekeeping.
Mirisim said that the Sappers (engineers) fell under civic services and had completed 600 projects since its inception on Sept 1, 1976.
The first road and airstrip projects were at Green River-Amanab, West Sepik.
“I will play my part as the minister responsible to enhance resource capacity of the engineering battalion in collaboration with the PNGDF council to ensure the Sappers continue with civic programmes to bring hope and light into the remotest areas such as my district in Telefomin,” Mirisim said.
He inspected a guard of honour on his first visit to Igam, accompanied by Chief of Staff Lt-Col Ray Numa, Chief of Force Lt-Col Siale Diro and senior sapper Lt-Col Joseph Fabila during the 41st anniversary of the engineers at Igam on Friday.
“Despite constraints in logistics, manpower, funding and materials for civic programmes, the engineers kept pursuing to instill a sense of confidence and government presence” he said.
Mirisim said that the national executive council in 2014 decided to relocate some of the PNGDF barracks and the engineers at Igam were still in the process of doing that.
He noted the establishment of a joint force academy based on leadership demand within the three discipline forces and their needs in logistics and infrastructures.
“I will discuss with the two ministers, Jelta Wong (police) and Roy Biyama (Correctional Services), to work together as well as to ensure the JFA Act reaches the floor of parliament” Mirisim said.
Area commander Lt-Col Carl Wrakonei said  that  the Sappers walked the length and breadth  of the country and areas where not many people liked to go to provide hope, to build roads, bridges, aid posts, schools and jetties.
“There are Sappers in Jimi, Tambul, Tiki, Baiyer, Ramu and Mendi currently working as we celebrate our 41 years of being Sappers to uphold the constitutional obligations” Wrakonei said.

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