PNG’s first Talisman Sabre

Deep in the Australian bush soldiers from Papua New Guinea (PNG) alongside Australian soldiers are role playing enemy forces, remaining concealed while allied forces approach at Townsville Field Training Area.

CAPTIONPapua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers from the 2nd Royal Pacific Island Regiment on Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 at Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. Photo by Lance Corporal Riley Blennerhassett.

This year is the first time the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) has integrated with Australian Forces during the multilateral Exercise Talisman Sabre.

Throughout the exercise PNGDF members have been embedded with Australian soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), leveraging each other’s military experiences to produce a lethal combination.

Embedded with 3 RAR, 2nd Royal Pacific Island Regiment Lieutenant Martin said this exercise is a great opportunity for his soldiers to get exposure to different training techniques and capabilities.

“Most of our training back home is dismounted, so working with different capabilities, like the light armoured vehicles, armoured personnel carriers and the Bushmasters is great exposure for me and my soldiers,” Lieutenant Martin said.

“My job is to ensure my soldiers are learning as much as they can from the exercise especially the mechanised infantry components.”

Around 33 soldiers from the PNGDF travelled to Australia to take part in the exercise learning both mounted and dismounted tactics of mechanised infantry.

So far PNGDF and 3 RAR have conducted patrols, reconnaissance missions, and hardened defensive positions as critical strongholds.

Lieutenant Martin said the Australian soldiers have been friendly and helpful to his soldiers.

“The soldiers we’re embedded with are pretty cool guys and are very nice to us,” Lieutenant Martin said.

“We are learning a lot from our brothers and sisters in Australia,” he said.


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