Plans underway to set up naval base in Western

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THE Defence Force plans to build a naval base in Western to monitor the movement of people and goods along the borders with Australia and Indonesia, Defence Minister Solan Mirisim says.
“We are looking at Bula Point in the South Fly District to build the naval base. That point is where we get reports of transnational criminal activities taking place,” he said.
“The naval base will have boats patrolling that area. We have soldiers based in Morehead and Weam in the South Fly District.
“They are on operation along the PNG-Indonesia border.”
Mirisim said they planned to upgrade the small Forward Operation Bases (FOB) at Kiunga in the North Fly District to a military barracks.
“It is in line with our 2013 PNGDF White Paper and Vision 2020 to increase manpower to 10,000. And in increasing the manpower, it will lead to increasing the units,” he said.
Mirisim urged MPs from Western and the people to support the plan by providing land and funding to build the naval base at Bula and the military barracks in Kiunga.
“Currently, the FOB in Kiunga is operated by the First Pacific Island Regiment based in Port Moresby. It is difficult to be operated from Port Moresby,” he said.
Mirisim was responding to Western Governor Toboi Awi Yoto’s call for the establishment of a naval base and the upgrading of the FOB in Kiunga.