Troops from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have successfully concluded Exercise Kumul Exchange at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville. The exercise saw a contingent of PNGDF soldiers integrated within the 3rd Brigades infantry, combat engineer and combat support battalions. They conducted training courses and field activities to strengthen bonds between ADF and PNGDF soldiers.
Commander of the 3rd Brigade, Brigadier Kahlil Fegan said,“The exercise is an opportunity to further our commitment to regional stability. The Kumul Exchange program is a valuable opportunity for the Australian Army and soldiers of the 3rd Brigade to further enhance the enduring military partnership with our PNGDF neighbours. Working and training side by side allows the soldiers from both nations to develop their military skills, regional knowledge and of course, the lasting mateship and comradery that is forged.”
“The partnership program is a great learning experience, it helps us with our work back in PNG, and I personally have learned plenty during my time in the armoury. I want to say thank you to the Australian Government and the ADF for the opportunity to be a part of the exchange,” Private Malaisa said.
“This is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of working with the PNGDF, and the bond we’ve made is really valuable,” Sergeant Troy Rooney said.
Completing his time at the 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion (3 CSSB) as an armourer and vehicle mechanic, PNGDF Private Steven Malaisa said the exchange program was one that he would like to see continue. The PNGDF soldiers departed Townsville on Sunday 14 November and are looking forward to more training opportunities with Australian soldiers in the future.