ADF helps engineering battalion with equipment

Igam Barracks area commander and Joint Forces Academy Commandant (Navy) Alexon Hannema (left) receiving machineries from the head of Australian Defence staff Col James Kidd at Igam Barracks in Lae yesterday. – Nationalpic by BRADLEY MARIORI

THE Australian Defence Force, through the defence cooperation programme, is again supporting the PNG Defence Force Engineer Battalion with machineries. Three caterpillars with backhoe/front-end loader and two caterpillars with skid steer loaders delivered yesterday will be used for roadworks and other projects which the engineering battalion teams are working on. Head of ADF staff Col James Kidd said the machineries would help in nation-building to create roads to connect communities. He said Australia had been supporting PNG since independence and they were here to help the engineering battalion prepare for the future. “We’ve helped in some major infrastructure projects at Igam Barracks with road-sealing, street-lighting, renovations and a men’s temporary dormitory which is currently under construction among other projects,” Col Kidd said. Igam Barracks area commander and Joint Forces Academy Commandant (Navy) Alexon Hannema extended his gratitude to the people of Australia through the Royal Australian Defence Force for blessing them. “I thank the ADF for keeping the PNG Defence Force right under your arms in terms of capacity building in aspects of training, operations, projects, and so on,” he said. “Apart from the many support you provided for the people of Papua New Guinea, I am pleased to mention the following assistance you made available for both servicemen and women and our dependents within Lae area. “Resealing of the Igam Barracks Road, erection of street lights within the barracks, continuous assistance in training shortfalls of Joint Forces Academy, purchase of the Bailey bridge training equipment for the engineer battalion and now the handover of the plant equipment and others not mentioned. “The plant equipment donated will help the engineer battalion a lot in their shortfalls.”