By Lucy Kopana – EMTV News, Lae
Twenty-two soldiers from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) Engineering Battalion completed a 6-day military adventure exercise on Saturday.
Members of the battalion walked the Black Cat Track as one of their training exercises this year. They started walking the sixty-two-kilometer track on from Wau on Monday and arrived in Asini on Saturday.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Bruno Malau said this training instills discipline and increases fitness levels for troops.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kumun said it was a great opportunity for the soldiers to walk the track that was used by the allied forces in World War Two, to recapture Salamaua and Lae from the Japanese in 1943.
The Black Cat Track stretches along a mountainous terrain, from hinterlands of Wau, to the coast in Salamaua. Five years ago, the track was closed following an attack on trekkers.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Bruno Malau, the walk was also taken to bring back confidence to the local people following the incident. This is an effort towards reopening the Black Cat Track.