For the last 12 days, officer cadets from the Papua New Guinea Defense Force’s academy at Igam have been living in dug out gun pits as part of their training.
Two platoons of junior soldiers are commanded by senior cadets who are being assessed for their leadership and planning skills.
After many years, this group of soldiers are the second lot of officer cadets to come through the academy.
Everyday, for the last 12, they’ve undergone battle simulations that include scenarios where they experienced food shortages, medical difficulties, and sleep deprivation.
The drills are carried out under the watchful eyes of PNGDF instructors. The idea has been to put them through the worse possible scenarios and to test if the cadets possess the qualities to lead small to large groups of soldiers.
The battle simulations come complete with enemy soldiers. Their role has been to put the cadets under constant pressure by attacking the cadets’ positions and sometimes stealing rations.
The training is being supported by the Australian Defence force.
Over the next few months, they’ll undergo similar training with various other scenarios. It’s expected, these cadets, many with university backgrounds, will become leaders in a PNGDF of the future.
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