Friday, February 12, 2016

JOINT TRAINING COLLEGE REOPENS AFTER 26 YEARS


Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo - PNGDF Commander
After 26 years, The Government has reopened  the Joint Services College at  Lae’s Igam Barracks  to,  once again,  train  officers from the  Defense Force,  Correctional Service and the  Royal Papua New Guinea  Constabulary.
The last  batch of officers graduated in 1980 – the year when the PNGDF saw its first overseas deployment during Vanuatu’s struggle for Independence.
On Monday,  the college will begin its first classes with  a new batch of Army, CS and police officer.
The opening of the  College comes at a time when  there is a high  demand for  good leadership both in the  three disciplinary services. 
It also comes when  there  is need to meet the increasing  regional and cross border  security demands also  marking  a significant  investment into national security.  
Gari Baki - Police Commissioner
Selected members of the three disciplinary  services –  Police Correctional Service and the PNGDF  will be   sent here  to Igam to undergo  two years of training.
            “We want to produce good leaders  but we also want  them to build personal relationships,” Defence Minister, Dr. Fabian Pok said.
            In 1973, the  PNG government  approved the establishment of the joint Services training college. 
The  college operated  for  five years until the last batch of  officers graduated in  1980.  The reopening is   part of a shift in government attitude since Bougainville and the Sandline  Crisis after which  successive governments starved the PNGDF of its ability to equip and sustain itself.
            “When we came through here, the training centered around how to lead men and women. As commissioner, that is what I want for my men and women,”  Police commissioner, Gari Baki, a pioneer of the college said.
But there are significant challenges ahead.   The Lae Area Commander,  Col. Carl Wrakonei, made it known to  the ministers and heads of the services that the college would require a separate budget because   current funding from the Police,  Defense Force and CS was not be adequate to  sustain the running of the college into the future.
It is hoped that once teething problems expected by the college are  resolved,  members  disciplinary forces from other Pacific Islands in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)  countries will be invited to train here as well.




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