The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013
DEFENCE Minister Fabian Pok yesterday announced an increase in Defence Force personnel from 2,000 to 5,000 by 2017.
Pok was speaking at a media conference at the defence headquarters in Port Moresby. He was flanked by Defence Secretary John Porti and Chief of Staff, Captain Tom Ur.
“The increase will see more than 3,000-plus new soldiers added onto the existing 2,000 service men and women in the country,” he said.
“This is part of the modernisation of the defence force.”
Pok said when relocated the Murray Barracks would transformed into a new dimension in the city.
“Murray Barracks will be relocated and once it is done the land at which the institution is now sitting on will be transformed into a city within a city of its own,” he said.
Pok said major changes would take place once the barracks were relocated.
“I am not sure where the relocation of the barracks will take place and when work will commence.
“We are searching for the right location for the barracks.”
He said the K25million approved for the relocation of the barracks was not listed in he budget but had been approved by the NEC for a payout to be done by Treasury.
“When the budget list came out the figure of the K25 million had not appeared and therefore Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was advised of such and has taken the appropriate measures to correct that error.”