Australia/Papua New Guinea — Multi-National Partnership Mission arrives in PNG

More than 250 Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) per­son­nel have arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to con­duct the US-led human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance mis­sion Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2010 (PP10).

Three Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy amphibi­ous ships, includ­ing the mis­sion com­mand ship HMAS Tobruk and a Unit­ed States Navy frigate will con­duct the week long activ­i­ty in the areas sur­round­ing Rabaul, com­menc­ing Fri­day, 3 Sep­tem­ber 2010.

Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of HMAS Tobruk, Com­man­der Paul Scott said the Aus­tralians with­in the mul­ti-nation­al team will be work­ing with per­son­nel from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and will pro­vide med­ical, den­tal, engi­neer­ing and com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice assistance. 

“Our peo­ple will work very close­ly with PNG Defence Force per­son­nel and mem­bers of the Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship team to achieve the mis­sion. They are all antic­i­pat­ing the rewards that come with this type of work, par­tic­u­lar­ly oper­at­ing with neigh­bour­ing defence force per­son­nel,” Com­man­der Scott said. 

Aus­tralian Head of Defence Staff PNG, Colonel Mark Shep­hard said the heavy Aus­tralian com­mit­ment to this leg of the PP10 mis­sion rein­forces the long­stand­ing bilat­er­al defence rela­tion­ship between the two countries. 

“Our two coun­tries share a rela­tion­ship strength­ened by geo­graph­ic prox­im­i­ty and his­tor­i­cal links. From a Defence per­spec­tive we are com­mit­ted to work­ing close­ly with the PNG Defence Force to ensur­ing it is an effec­tive, sus­tain­able and pro­fes­sion­al force,” he said.

“Australia’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2010 is a con­tin­u­a­tion of this work and both defence forces will ben­e­fit from the col­lab­o­ra­tive effort, and work­ing with the US takes it to the next lev­el,” said Colonel Shephard.

HMAS Tobruk arrived in Port Mores­by yes­ter­day to embark PNG Defence Force per­son­nel and is now enroute to Rabaul. Unit­ed States Ship Van­de­grift will pro­vide addi­tion­al per­son­nel and ship to shore logistics. 

The US-spon­sored Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2010 is a mis­sion intent on improv­ing the capac­i­ties of nations and organ­i­sa­tions to respond to dis­as­ters such as the 2004 Asian tsunami. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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