The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has completed a 10-year stint under the military component of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands. JOHNSON HONIMAE reports on the farewell of the PNGDF.
After deploying 600 personnel since mid- 2003 to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, the final PNG Defence Force contingent was farewelled at a ceremonial parade at the RAMSI Headquarters in Honiara on 1 April. “After 10 years of continuous deployment, I would like to say a special thank you to all the troops from Papua New Guinea who have served with RAMSI over the past decade. “Your input has been vital to the success of the mission and a testament to regional cooperation and fellowship,” said Wayne Higgins, RAMSI’s Acting Special Coordinator, during the farewell parade. Speaking on behalf of the PNG Defence Forces, Joint Force Commander, Colonel Gilbert Toropo who travelled from Port Moresby for the ceremony, said apart from its domestic duties, PNGDF “has maintained RAMSI as a priority deployment among its international and regional obligations. We have always strived to provide our best possible officers and servicemen and women for RAMSI duties.”
Colonel Toropo said: “PNG believes RAMSI has achieved its mandate and PNG is happy to be part of the troop contributing nations to assist in restoring normalcy to Honiara and the rest of Solomon Islands.”
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