The National, Friday 03rd August 2012
By JUNIOR UKAHA
THIRTY-five Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers who were part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (Ramsi) returned to the country yesterday.
They landed at Jackson International Airport on a C130 Hercules aircraft at 10.15am, before flying to East Sepik in the afternoon.
The “Kumul Force 15”, comprising members of the Delta Company of the 2nd Royal Pacific Island Regiment (2RPIR) based in Moem barracks, East Sepik were on a six-month call-out.
Group commander Capt Price Rumints said they spent two months in Adelaide, Australia, undergoing pre-deployment training before being sent to Honiara where they spent the next four months.
“We basically did patrols, exercises, provided security and gave support to the local police.
“The people were peaceful – their attitude has changed,” he said.
Force commander, Brig-Gen Francis Agwi, who was at the airport to receive them, said they had done a good job and done PNG proud.
“I welcome you back but at the same time I want you to spend quality time with your families,” he said.
Australian Defence Force head in the country Col Mark Shephard said the Kumul Force 15 members had displayed “a high standard of professionalism and discipline”.
Shephard said despite the huge task at home as a result of the elections, the PNGDF had shown its maturity by still having troops taking part in Ramsi.
Sgt Ludwig Miugle, a medical officer, was promoted to Warrant Officer in recognition for the work he had done while on duty.
Ramsi forces were first sent to Solomon Islands in 2002 after riots erupted there.