The guardhouse at the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) Goldie River Training Depot near Port Moresby is being renovated as part of Exercise Puk Puk.
CAPTION: British Army Lance Corporal Shane Bundy, left, PNGDF Lance Corporal Clement Nibabe, kneeling, and Australian Army Sapper Anthony Toigo, paint the guardhouse walls during Exercise Puk Puk at Goldie River Training Depot. Story by Major Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Sergeant Nunu Campos.
Engineers from the PNGDF, Australian Army and British Army are working together to increase bonds, build relationships and develop trade skills while improving existing infrastructure at the depot.
Lance Corporal Daniel Honour, from the British Army, is helping to overhaul the first building visitors to the depot will see when they get on site.
“We’ve just been stripping all the electrical and the plumbing inside the building and we’ve just been cleaning everything, ready to paint it and then redecorate,” Lance Corporal Honour said.
“We’re going to be installing all new lighting systems, power outlets, new toilets, new showers, washbasins, and then painting it and make it look really nice.”
Overseeing the guardhouse project is foreman Lance Corporal Luke Phillips, from the Australian Army’s 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment.
He said the multinational nature of Exercise Puk Puk was paying dividends.
“Our UK counterparts have plugged in seamlessly and they bring some expertise that we don’t have, like painter decorators; they are critical to this job,” Lance Corporal Phillips said.
“The soldiers from the PNGDF have been fantastic. We have three combat engineers and one electrician, who I have been teaching how we manage job sites.
“He’s got a strong desire to practise as much electrical work as he can. This job site will lend itself to that kind of thing nicely. There will be a lot of electrical work happening here, so there’s heaps of learning happening both ways.”
The British Army has supported Ex Puk Puk before, and Lance Corporal Honour said the current contingent was still acclimatising.
“Papua New Guinea is lovely, it’s very hot, which we’re not used to back in the UK, but now we’re all getting stuck in, all looking after each other,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful country and we’re keen to see more of it when we can.”