It’s been 44 years since the PNG Defence Force Engineering Battalion was established in Green River, West Sepik Province.
Over the years, the unit has built roads, bridges, airstrips, and various other civic action projects across the country and still does today.
Today, the Sappers as they are known, celebrated the challenges, achievements, and experiences gained over 4 decades.
This year’s celebration was smaller than in previous years because of COVID-19 restrictions.
This morning the Sappers, guests, and a few family members gathered to commemorate 44 years, since the birth of the PNGDF Engineering Batallion.
Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Bruno Malau commended his officers saying despite constraints with manpower, equipment, and finance, they’ve continued to perform their duties.
“I salute all you sappers for your undivided support, your commitment, your sacrifices. Some of you have been out there for operations for seven to eight months and you still end up doing the job that you signed up to do.”
The Engineering Battalion was established in 1976, their first project was the Green River Airstrip in the West Sepik Province.
Since then, they’ve built over 600 projects which include roads, bridges, and other civic action projects.
This year, 76 of these engineers were deployed to Australia as part of the Kumul Force 17 contingent, to help rebuild communities affected by the Australian Bushfires.
While these sappers celebrated the Engineering Battalion’s 44th Anniversary at the Unit’s base at the Igam Barracks, others observed the day at various project sites in the country.
“About thirty soldiers currently up in Aiome, constructing the road towards Simbai as I speak. Also, I would like to commend our troops as well. We have about thirty of our soldiers in Finschhafen, road projects,”- Lt. Col. Bruno Malau