PNGDF Commander Explains Lack of Anticipated Growth in Defense Capabilities as Outlined in 2013 White Paper

In an exclusive interview with PNG News, Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF) Commander Major General Mark Goina shed light on the challenges faced by the PNGDF in achieving anticipated personal growth and acquiring integrated capabilities as outlined in the 2013 defence white paper. Commander Goina attributed these challenges to the need for aligning the PNGDF with the priorities of the PNG government, including development plans and the Primary Vision 2050 for the country’s smart, fair, and healthy society.

“The 2013 defence white paper was a critical policy document that outlined a broad strategic framework for the PNGDF’s planning and engagement with the country and bilateral partners in defending its borders,” said Commander Goina. He highlighted that the 2013 defence white paper ran concurrently with the national security policy 2013, with a medium-term outlook until 2017 to coincide with the government of Papua New Guinea election cycle.

However, Commander Goina noted that the delivery of a new defence white paper program did not occur as planned, citing a lack of commitment from the government and organizational challenges within the PNGDF. He emphasized his intentions as Commander PNGDF to reset the force, focusing on five lines of effort, namely people, organizational reform, operational proficiency, infrastructure, and nation-building.

“We need to align our efforts with the priorities of the PNG government, including development plans and the Primary Vision 2050, to ensure that we are building the capability of our National Defense Force in a strategic manner,” stated Commander Goina. He further elaborated on the five lines of effort, stating that they would involve investing in the growth and development of PNGDF personnel, implementing organizational reforms to improve efficiency and effectiveness, enhancing operational proficiency through training and equipment modernization, upgrading infrastructure to support PNGDF operations, and contributing to nation-building efforts in Papua New Guinea.

Commander Goina expressed his commitment to working closely with the government and other stakeholders to overcome the challenges and implement the PNGDF’s strategic plan effectively. “We need the support and commitment of all stakeholders to ensure that the PNGDF can fulfil its role in safeguarding our country’s security and sovereignty,” said Commander Goina.

In conclusion, Commander Major General Mark Goina explained that the lack of anticipated personal growth and integrated capabilities in the PNGDF, as outlined in the 2013 defence white paper, can be addressed by aligning the PNGDF with the priorities of the PNG government and implementing strategic reforms in key areas. He expressed his determination to reset the force and build a capable and effective National Defense Force for Papua New Guinea.

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