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Australian Government - Department of Defence

Partnership endures as PNG military exchange concludes in Townsville

17 November 2021

Troops from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have successfully concluded Exercise Kumul Exchange at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville.

The exercise saw a contingent of PNGDF soldiers integrated within the 3rd Brigades infantry, combat engineer and combat support battalions. They conducted training courses and field activities to strengthen bonds between ADF and PNGDF soldiers.

Commander of the 3rd Brigade, Brigadier Kahlil Fegan said the exercise is an opportunity to further our commitment to regional stability.

"The Kumul Exchange program is a valuable opportunity for the Australian Army and soldiers of the 3rd Brigade to further enhance the enduring military partnership with our PNGDF neighbours," Brigadier Fegan said.

"Working and training side by side allows the soldiers from both nations to develop their military skills, regional knowledge and of course, the lasting mateship and comradery that is forged."

Completing his time at the 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion (3 CSSB) as an armourer and vehicle mechanic, PNGDF Private Steven Malaisa said the exchange program was one that he would like to see continue.

"The partnership program is a great learning experience, it helps us with our work back in PNG, and I personally have learned plenty during my time in the armoury," Private Malaisa said.

"I want to say thank you to the Australian Government and the ADF for the opportunity to be a part of the exchange. We're looking forward to coming back again."

Sergeant Troy Rooney from 3 CSSB was a mentor throughout the exchange and highlighted the program's success in developing both skills and relationships amongst the soldiers.

"This is the first time I've had the pleasure of working with the PNGDF, and the bond we've made is really valuable," Sgt Rooney said.

The PNGDF soldiers departed Townsville on Sunday 14 November and are looking forward to more training opportunities with Australian soldiers in the future.

Media Note

Imagery is available at https://images.defence.gov.au/S20213490

Media contacts

Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT
Email: media@defence.gov.au

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