By Scott Waide – EMTV News, Lae
Forty soldiers from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) have completed a two month Corporals qualifying course. The course culminated with a mock battle early Tuesday morning at Nadzab outside of Lae.
Part of the training was to make the mock attack as real as possible. Hours before it all began, soldiers who were part of the contingent doing the course, were in a camp with their instructors preparing for the exercise. Then, in the dark of the night, the mock battle began.
For someone unfamiliar with gunshots at close range, it would have been highly unnerving. As the party advanced, and the skirmish began, flares were lit and one opposing party moved to meet their foe.
Major Sarufa Eka, the Operations Officer of the Engineer Battalion in Lae, said the exercise adds value to the experience the older soldiers have.
“This now qualifies them to take up roles as section commanders.”
By daylight, much of the activity was over. A debrief followed with the troops carrying the “wounded” back to camp.
This is the first time in four years that a course like this has happened. It was run jointly by PNGDF instructors from Lae and Port Moresby. This is part of ongoing improvements in the Papua New Guinea Defense Force.
The outskirts of Lae provides an ideal training ground for the PNGDF. It is also a place historically connected with some of the biggest battles in which Papua New Guinean servicemen fought in World War 2.