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Papua New Guinea - Military Personnel

The PNGDF consists of a joint force of Land, Air and Maritime Operations Elements. At independence it numbered 3,750 while 465 Australian personnel augmented and assisted it in training and technical support. Numbers have fluctuated as the force was reduced from 4,000 to around 2,100 personnel in 2004 due to downsizing.

The PNGDF is currently [as of 2016] a 2,750 personnel-strong force; with aspirations to expand to 5000 by 2020 in order to better execute its security, surveillance and nation building/HADR mandates. At present however, there are (long-standing) systemic issues impeding the DoD/PNGDFs ability to progress beyond its current state, including weak administrative and support mechanisms to manage and sustain the PNGDF.

A knock-on effect has been that aspects of PNGDF leadership, pride, discipline and professionalism have been degraded across much of the force, at all rank levels. This steady decline in PNGDF profession-of-arms culture has resulted in a number of demonstrations, mutinies and general misdemeanours by Defence personnel in the last ten years some of which occur frequently and at short notice (such as violent offenses directed at Port Moresby civilians, by members of the 1st Royal Pacific Islands Battalion (RPIR), in 2013).

Current DCP efforts are attempting to strengthen PNGDF capability through an enhanced program that aims to reinstate DoD/PNGDF ownership of Defence organisational and capability issues, whilst bolstering DoD/PNGDFs capacity to do so. The DCP therefore facilitates various assistance programs in order to assist with a myriad of DoD/PNGDF deficiencies in manpower, training, facilities and capability. The DCP aims to assist the PNGDF in the performance of its core responsibilities:

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