Military agreement opens door for PNG soldiers to study in US

Youth & Careers

Papua New Guinea soldiers will have the chance to study in the United States through a military bilateral relationship agreement being planned.
Deputy commander of the United States Army’s Pacific Command, Maj-Gen John Johnson, will be in the country tomorrow to discuss the agreement with Defence Force Commander Gilbert Toropo.
Two Papua New Guinea officer cadets will leave this month to study at the US military academy at West Point, in New York.
Toropo is the only Papua New Guinean soldier to have graduated from US training programme.
He said that the visit by Johnson would be significant because for the first time after several years PNG military cadets will study in the US.
He welcomed the reintroduction of the programme.
“The selection will be done jointly by both countries,” Toropo said.
“Those selected will study for four years. I am also happy to say that the first two Papua New Guinean soldiers will be leaving this month to study at the US West Point as officer cadets.”
Toropo said the US officer cadet programme was one of the toughest military training programme in the world.
“We have only one Papua New Guinean who graduated from the US training,” he said.
“After that, no other Papua New Guinean passed the training for some years and the programme ceased.
“However, under the military bilateral agreement, USA will now be offering the training to Papua New Guinean soldiers again.”

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