Australian defence minister to tour country

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THE Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, pictured, is expected to arrive in Port Moresby this afternoon from Australia.
Reynolds was sworn in as Minister for Defence on May 29 and had served as a reserve officer in the Australian Army for 29 years and was appointed to Australian Senate in 2014 and again in 2019.
Reynolds will be in the country for five days and would be visiting various PNGDF institutions and barracks including a special visit to Okapa in Eastern Highlands on a special invite by the PNG Defence Minister Saki Soloma.
Defence hierarchy confirmed that Senator Reynolds would travel to Manus on a Royal Australian Air Force fixed wing tomorrow morning to tour the PNGDF Lombrum Naval Base.
The tour will also include the official opening of the Live Ordnance Departure Area (LODA Wharf).
Lombrum Naval Base is going through a major upgrade under the partnership between Australian and PNG through the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP).
The rebuilding exercise followed a framework MoU signed in March this year between Australia and PNG that will see the rebuilding of the naval base to cater for all four Guardian Class patrol Boats to be given by the government of Australia.
She will leave Manus in the afternoon for Wewak in East Sepik where she will pay a special visit to the Australian forces and PNGDF soldiers currently conducting the Exercise Wantok Warrior 19 at 2RPIR Moem Barracks.
She is expected to officiate on the official naming and unveiling of the Camp Key Sign of the 100 man camp in Wewak.
In Eastern Highlands, she will visit Okapa Hospital and high school.

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