By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Two weeks before graduating as the first batch for 2016, PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) recruits held their last dawn attack exercise this morning.
Their final exercise took place at a historically significant site.
It is a place where in World War II, Australian troops were stationed at Sirana, in what is now Gerehu Stage 7, using it as their defensive position before going up to Mt Erima.
The exercise started at 5am this morning. Normally during war, 3am to 5am are the times when the enemy attacks, because it is when soldiers would often still be sleeping.
This is the final field exercise where they put into practice their soldiering skills, with each soldier carrying cargo weighing upwards of 25 kilograms.
They have been trained for three months to master the core skills required of a soldier. These include navigation, basic weapons training, key military knowledge and skills, and rising each day to meet challenges as a team.
The training this morning was for their instructors to assess their skills.
Lieutenant Colonel, Dickers Esso, is the Commanding Officer and Chief Instructor at the PNGDF Training Depot in Goldie.
After he entered the depot in 2014, PNGDF started the Company of Excellence, where you have the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta companies.
He said 75 of these recruits would go for infantry in Wewak, which will then complete the company of excellence.
Most of the soldiers this morning were between the ages of 19-25.
Lieutenant Colonel Esso says the purpose of recruiting young men and women is to change the image of an ageing force, to that of a young and vibrant force.