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By Bradley Mariori

Papua New Guinea Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso, on behalf of the Government and the people of Papua New Guinea, has extended his warmest congratulations and commendations to Lieutenant Colonel Boniface Aruma of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), for his historic appointment as the second-in-command of one of Australia’s prestigious combat brigades – Townsville’s 3rd Brigade.

This is the first time a foreign military officer has been appointed as a deputy commander of an Australian combat brigade and this groundbreaking move aims to strengthen the military ties between PNG and Australia, enhancing collaboration and regional security.

Lieutenant Colonel Aruma, a distinguished officer in the PNGDF for 27 years, has Masters Degrees in International Relations and Defence Studies from the Deakin and Australian National Universities respectively.

“Lieutenant Colonel Boniface Aruma’s appointment to this prestigious position is a testament to the professionalism, skills, and dedication of our defence force personnel. It is also a testament to the deepening collaboration between PNG and Australia in defence and security matters. We are immensely proud of his accomplishments, and we have every confidence in his ability to excel in this new role.” Deputy Prime Minister Rosso said.

Australian Defence analysts say this move sends a powerful message of solidarity to the Pacific as Australia has never appointed an officer from the Pacific to such a senior role and this appointment will give a greater appreciation of how PNGDF undertakes strategic planning, operational and tactical activities.

Deputy Prime Minister Rosso also highlighted the broader significance of this move, saying, “PNG recognizes the importance of maintaining strong, strategic partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region. We are committed to working closely together with our Australian counterparts to promote peace, security, and prosperity in the Pacific region.”

“The Government and people of PNG are thrilled for Lieutenant Colonel Boniface Aruma’s achievement, and we express our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes as he embarks on this new senior role. His appointment is a clear demonstration of the Pacific spirit, where neighboring nations collaborate to enhance their collective defense capabilities.” Deputy Prime Minister Rosso stated.

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