28 February 2007
For immediate release
PNG DEFENCE FORCE OFFICER TO STUDY IN AUSTRALIA
Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Toropo, MBE, left for Australia last week to take part in a year-long training course on national security issues.
Lieutenant Colonel Toropo was selected by the Commander PNGDF and senior staff to attend the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS) at Weston Creek in Canberra.
The highly-valued course provides ADF officers, Australian Public Service personnel and overseas participants with the knowledge and skills required by senior figures operating in the national security environment.
The former Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion The Royal Pacific Islands Regiment was chosen on the basis of his performance as an officer within the PNGDF.
Lieutenant Colonel Toropo’s participation on the course is being fully funded under the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) between Australia and PNG.
The Head of the Australian Defence Staff, Colonel Luke Foster, said: “PNGDF's participation on courses of this nature highlights the close defence links between Australia and PNG.
“Australia's strong defence relationship with Papua New Guinea is agreed bilaterally between our two Governments. It is supported by frequent and regular consultation at all levels and reflects the shared security interests of both nations.”
Under the DCP, Australia provides assistance in partnership with the PNGDF to help develop home-grown PNG initiatives.
Through the DCP, the ADF’s major focus of assistance is on defence renewal, weapons control, infrastructure development, personnel and training to help create a more affordable and better trained defence force which can sustain itself.
Lieutenant Colonel Toropo, who left for Australia on 19 February, will be joined by his family in early March 2007. He previously studied at Weston Creek in 2001.
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