Enhancing air power in PNG

In a collaborative effort supported by the Defence Cooperation Program in Papua New Guinea, the RAAF School of Postgraduate Studies (SPS) delivered tailored training to the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) – Air Transport Wing from October 27 to November 3.

CAPTIONSPS ATW Air Power Leadership Course Officer group participants with Flight Sergeant Anthea Lee and Corporal Daniel Holt at Kumul Leadership Centre, Murray Barracks, PNG. Story by Squadron Leader Kate Davis and Flight Lieutenant Steffi Blavius.

Earlier this year, the school’s facilitators and training development staff, including instructors Flight Sergeant Anthea Lee and Corporal Daniel Holt, travelled to PNG to work with the wing’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nancy Wii, and training staff. They scoped and developed a program that addressed the unique challenges and responsibilities of the PNGDF air element.

Corporal Holt was grateful for the opportunity to develop and implement a training package with a foreign defence force.

“I enjoyed having the opportunity to scope the program and then return to deliver it to an emerging air element, giving PNGDF an Australian context of leadership and air power,” Corporal Holt said.

The program recognised the strategic importance of air power capabilities for regional stability and security. It was designed to enable the PNGDF air element staff to contribute effectively to their national power, and enhance their ability to respond to common challenges such as natural disasters or threats to their nation.

Flight Sergeant Anthea Lee, a facilitator at SPS, found the experience of creating the bespoke training and working with the PNGDF fulfilling.

“The engagement and excitement of the students was really inspiring, and there was an excellent level of eagerness and experience in each class, which we were able to draw on to educate and share air power and leadership knowledge,” Flight Sergeant Lee said.

A two-day course was developed by SPS Training Manager Sergeant Mick Kjaer, for three groups: junior non-commissioned officers, senior non-commissioned officers and officers.

On completing the courses, about 40 air element staff were ready to apply their newfound skills in the workplace.

The success of this initiative further solidifies the strong relationship of mutual respect, open dialogue and educational collaboration between PNGDF and the ADF.

SPS is due to continue providing annual training to the PNGDF air element in a reflection of the two defence forces’ commitment to ongoing collaboration and capability development.


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