Papua New Guinea to increase Army

PNG Defence at Training Image credit: Townsville Bulletine
THE strength of the PNG Defence Force will be increased to 10,000 over the next 10 years, Minister Dr Fabian Pok told parliament yesterday.
He said the government had down-sized the force from 4,000 to 1,900 under the Australian funding reform in 2002.
However, the government was committed to strengthening and increasing the size of the force from the current 1,900 to 10,000 over 10 years, recruiting about 1,000 men and women each year.
By next year, the force would be starting to recruit men and women through two batches.
He said the government had approved a K170 million loan to buy new patrol boats and planes.
“We are going to rebuild the force and starting next year we will buy planes and boats for the force for the air transport wing and Navy and also replace firearms for the infantry,” he said.
“I must say that the force has no guns, so we will buy more guns.”
Pok said the Murray Barracks land would be leased and owned by the state and not given away to any individual or organisation when they relocated the military headquarters outside the city.
He said the arrangement would mean that the force would be generating its own funds to finance its operation.
 Pok said the government should look at building facilities and other developments along the border such as what the Indonesians were doing. The National
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