PNGDF commissions new patrol boat

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Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s guardian class patrol boat HMPNGS Agwi’s company giving three cheers for the newly commissioned vessel in Wewak, East Sepik, on Wednesday. – Picture supplied

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird says he would like to see the maritime element within the Papua New Guinea Defence Force is equipped with expanded capability like drones so that the surveillance capability goes beyond the ships to protect marine resources.
“These resources are not just ours but these resources belong to the planet and we remain custodians. We must be ever vigilant that there’re those in this world who will not respect our sovereignty in their pursuit of self-enrichment and other things that they think they can do because we do not have the ability to protect our vast territorial boundary,” he said during the commissioning of the PNGDF’s guardian class patrol boat, HMPNGS Agwi in Wewak on Wednesday.
“That also goes for the entire South Pacific. We are home to perhaps the largest ocean in the world that we can’t protect and we can survey and so we don’t know what goes on in this part of the world.
“Therefore, the call for elements like navy will become greater in the future and we need to be prepared for that,” he said.
Defence Commander Major-Gen Mark Goina thanked the Australian government for its continued support since the enhanced comprehensive strategic and economic partnership in 2019.
“We have a strong military cooperation dating back to WWII, in recognition that our security is enhanced by the interoperability of our Defence Forces.
“We are pleased to participate in the Pacific Maritime Security Program to enhance regional stability and security,” Goina said.
Under this partnership, PNG had received three out of four guardian class patrol boats.

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