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by Eragairma Yal

I don't know if our Papua New Guinea Defence Force has a Blue Print.

PNG has obtained the Right to Self-Rule in 1973 as a pre-qualification to gaining independence in 1975, 16th September.

43yrs on and I have just learned one fundamental fact that our PNG Defense Force has still been operating as the Eighth Division under the Australian Defense Force Military. The fact is we have not gained Military Independence. We are an Eighth Element or Division similar to an Infantry under the Australian Defence Force Military.

One thing that baffles me is that the Australian Defense Force knowing very well that we are the Eighth Division operating under the ADF Military, why can't they develop our Defense Force into a full pledge Military Force carrying Land, Air and Sea Elements with complete state of the art equipment setup and logistics support with routine modern training as a requirement?

Whatever arrangements they may have had in the past that lead us to this stage, I write to challenge the PNGDF Brigadier General and the government of the day that we must have our own Blue Print for our Military that must lead us into attaining Militarily Independence.

I can remember the announcement of our Defence White Paper some time ago but what was it about? And what developments did we achieve as in the three elements of the Defence Force? What did our soldiers and paramilitary officers gain as in training and personal empowerment?

Our own BLUEPRINT must spell out the establishment of our military components, divisions, infantries, units and paramilitary forces etc.

Our trained Human Resources as in Cadets and Privates are sitting idle in the military barracks basically waiting for their pay packets, SoE callouts, and their eventual retrenchment cheque.

We need to use them in our circular workforces in the public service sector. While we already have some specialists trained as engineers, doctors, nurses, teachers, CHWs, lawyers, etc we ought to increase the training in the different disciplines and deploy them on secondment arrangements to serve everywhere in the country.

We need to use our trained human resource effectively to alleviate the shortfall in our workforce to develop our country.

I regret to see that we have some highly skilled and intelligent officers just becoming sitting ducks in our military camps buying time to be retrenched.

We have no imminent threats or rather we're not a threat to any of our neighbouring countries. We should change our so-called Defence White Paper to cater for these changes now to create employment for our ever increasing school leavers passing out from secondary and tertiary schools every year.

Human resource within PNGDF is a sleeping giant that needs to be absorbed into our circular jobs after secondment training and engagement rather than paying and housing them to do almost nothing.