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PNG Deploys 100 troops to Australia to assist bushfire response

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force is  deploying 100 soldiers to Australia for three months to assist with the bush fire disaster.

This is a 3 month- deployment  and it will cost the PNG Government K3.5 million.

Defence Minister Saki Soloma today says the PNGDF and Australia Defence Forces have had a series of discussions since the weekend on the offer by Prime Minister James Marape to send 1000 personnel.

The Minister says the discussions and subsequent planning with ADF looked at the current fire situation in Australia and the other assistance from other nations.

Based on that, both agreed that PNG’s best immediate response will be the deployment of 100 PNGDF troops.

76 of them will be from the Engineering battalion in Lae.

The remaining will be field engineers from the 1-R-P-I-R battalion at Taurama including support staff.

A C-130 troop carrier of the Royal Australian Airforce will arrive in PNG on Sunday morning then will fly into Lae to bring over the 76 engineers, who will spend the night at Taurama before departing PNG for Australia on Monday 13th January 2020.

Their immediate task in Australia is to work alongside their Australian counterparts in clearing roads and bridges blocked by fallen trees, so that fire fighters can get into affected areas in rural communities.

Meantime, the Defence Minister says these engineers will be the initial deployment, and if need arises and upon Australia’s request PNG stands ready to send in additional troops from within Defence, Firemen, and National Volunteers including the Defence Reserve Force.

FM 100/ PNG Today  (Photo: PNGLoop)

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