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PNG Minister Mirisim commend Hela Provincial Government K2.5 million funding towards Hela FOB

 PNG Defence Minister Hon Solan Mirisim today commended the Hela Provincial Government led by Governor Philip Undialu on making available additional funding of K2.5 million towards the Hela Forward Operating Base (FOB) for the PNGDF.

The Hela FOB was built upon a decision by the National Executive Council in 2014 to have a third battalion in the country.

Minister for Defense Hon Solan Mirisim receiving the cheque of K2.5 million from the Governor of Hela Hon Philip Undialu as additional funding towards the Hela FOB at PNGDF Headquarters in Port Moresby. 

Minister Mirisim said NEC in its wisdom choose Hela province.

He said there are only two battalions in the country which have been built during the 2nd World War and after the World War and the country really needs a third one.

“The decision to choose a Highlands province was in the wisdom of NEC. The first and the second battalion are located along the coastline of Papua New Guinea and it was a wise decision to have one battalion station up in the Highlands region.

When you look at tribal conflict, crime or violence most of it happen up in the Highlands so to set up a third battalion up there is something we will work towards to minimize these escalating problems," he said.

Minister Mirisim said to see the continuous support coming from the Hela Governor Philip Undialu shows the commitment he has to have the third battalion set up in his province.

“He has been right behind the FOB and his commitment and continued support can help the government and PNG Defence Force set up the third battalion in Hela.

“Let me thank Governor Undialu in making sure that this development take place in Hela,” he said.

Minister Mirisim assured Governor Undialu that once the FOB is completed, they will start go into setting up the battalion.

“But it takes resources, money, time to establish a battalion. We will be looking at increasing the number of soldiers to 1000.

“Again, if we partner in this project with donor agencies and stakeholders such as Exxon Mobile and the national government it can be achieved,” he said. 


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