Aussies aid PNGDF with K255,000 for recruitment

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 18, 2011

THE Australian defence force stands ready to help in capacity building for the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, the head of ADF in PNG said last week.
Col Mark Shephard made the remarks last week during the induction of 200 new recruits at the Goldie Barracks Training Depot outside Port Moresby.
Shephard said the Australian defence staff (ADS), through the defence cooperation programme (DCP), had provided support to PNGDF commander, Brig-Gen Francis Agwi, to advance his priorities as set out in the PNG government’s Defence objectives in the medium term development plan.
A statement released by the Australian High Commission said that the ADF had provided K255,000 worth of support to train the recruits this year.
With further assistance that amount is said to double twice per year, starting next year, allowing for a total of 400 recruits to be trained annually.
“Specifically, the ADF provided field deployment equipment (packs, sleeping bags, mosquito nets, etc); combat rations; many of the uniform requirements; and consumables, such as fuel, stationery, toiletries, and towels, to assist this recruit course,” the statement read.
The high commission also said that besides the K225,000 spent on the recruit training course, ADS spent about K8,277,000 on overall training support each year.
According to the high commission, a small team of ADF workforce planners visited Murray Barracks in Port Moresby from May 2 to 6 and worked with PNGDF chief of personnel Col Paul Mai’s personnel specialists, to commence the detailed calculations required to inform commander of PNGDF of the recruitment, training and force structure targets that will need to be met to pursue the MTDP target of growing the force to 4,000 over the medium term.  
“Once complete, that planning will help inform the commander’s development budget for 2012 to take into account the flow-on costs for uniforms, equipment, catering, accommodation, training, and utilities and the funding requirements to meet the PNG government’s medium term defence force expansion targets,” the high commission statement said. 
The statement said ADF’s overall commitment to supporting training of the PNGDF was an ongoing one and further training would be provided to selected officers depending on their performances.