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The PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) seeks 5000 Students as Soldiers

PORT MORESBY - The PNG Defence Force is looking to build its force strength from 2500 to 5000 personnel by the end of 2017.

Speaking on the update of the PNGDF White Paper Policy, Brigadier General Albert Toropo said one of the ways to help boost the force was to give opportunities to grade 12 school leavers who missed out on places in tertiary institutions.

Toropo said this was one way to recruit because, for the 20,000 students who finished grade 12, only 4000 or so were accepted into tertiary institutions to continue while the bulk missed out.

He said as part of the newly introduced White Paper policy, the PNGDF will be developing the reserve force through working on youth schemes as well as school cadet schemes.

“The PNGDF is an ageing force. In 2002 the average age for a soldier was 35. Today, it is about 46. The PNGDF will go on a big recruitment drive,” said Toropo.

He said the PNGDF would also rehabilitate current frames and infrastructure for the air force capability, land borders and maritime capability.

He said some of these changes in the three areas would see the training of 18 pilots and 30 technicians by 2015; reinforce surveillance systems for land borders at areas such as Vanimo, Kiunga and Wutung; and ensuring joint operations at sea with fisheries, Customs, NAQIA- regional partners.

Toropo said the white paper implementation committee set up to monitor progress will do so through the providing of quarterly reports. [PNGEdge]

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