PNGDF Deploys to Northern Border
Lt Passingan. R
Sun Apr 05 2020 14:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
The Papua New Guinea Defence Force this week saw the deployment of its personnel to the Northern land and maritime border in Sandaun Province. This move signifies the efforts to to boost the manpower as PNG’s response to COVD-19 pandemic.
Sixty-eight PNGDF personnel arrived in Vanimo yesterday afternoon.
Twenty-five of these personnel including the Acting Officer in Command of the COVID-19 Operations along the northern border Major Raymond Paki and six medics from the 1st Battalion Royal Pacific Islands Regiment joined forty-eight other personnel from the 2nd Battalion Royal Pacific Islands Regiment.
Task Force Commander Lieutenant Colonel Raphael Yapu when addressing the contingent before departure at the Air transport Wing in Port Moresby, thanked the twenty-one soldiers from 2RPIR for adhering to the fourteen days isolation period for COVID-19 after their emergency return from the ten-day Exercise Wantok Warrior in Townsville, Australia.
“The fourteen-day isolation is important to show that we (PNGDF) are adhering to measures recommended by the National Department of Health in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lt Col Yapu said.
“It is not only to show that we are following measures put in place but it is also to show the rest of Papua New Guinea, our duty of care to our men and women in service and our families as well. It is also to emphasize our Chief of Defence’s intent of Force Protection, “looking after ourselves first so we help look after others.”
The sixty-eight personnel joined the members of 2RPIR currently on deployment to the border to boost the numbers.
The team also deployed with medical supplies including Personal Protective Equipment and much needed drugs for troops operating along the PNG-Indonesia border.