A Papua New Guinea Defence Force division is at crisis point. The Air Transport Wing (ATW) is in dire need to rebuild its’ capabilities to address national issues affecting the country.
Most of its manpower has left for greener pastures in the private sector and there is a critical shortage of aircraft fleets.
This was revealed during ATW’s 39th anniversary today in Port Moresby.
Uniformed men marched in true military fashion, watched over by their superiors and the public.
The parade was then reviewed by Moresby Northeast MP Labi Amaiu. It was a celebration to mark 39 years for one of PNGDF’s integral divisions, the Air Transport Wing.
But beyond the colourful parade is an aging division with depleted capabilities.
The Air Transport Wing has served the nation well, from protecting our borders to assisting in disaster relief operations.
But this could be gone if the government does not act quickly. Commanding Officer of the ATW, Lt Col John Matagarakikai, highlighted the challenges they face.
There is a 20 year gap that must be narrowed and their hopes are on the new defence white paper. Bilateral assistance has helped kept the division going but the government must do its’ part support it.
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