Australian army arrives in PNG for APEC operation

An array of Australian military assets has arrived in Papua New Guinea to provide security during the upcoming APEC summit.

PNG’s capital Port Moresby is to host world leaders within the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation group in under two weeks.

The Royal Australian Navy’s landing helicopter dock, HMAS Adelaide, and two patrol boats arrived in Moresby at the weekend.

The vessels are to assist with monitoring restricted access to parts of Moresby’s Harbour

The Adelaide will house and support many of the roughly 1500 Australian Defence Force personnel coming to PNG for APEC.

In addition, Royal Australian Air Force jets will patrol the skies around Moresby in coming weeks.

PNG’s Police Commissioner advised Moresby residents that due to the deployment there would be an increase in air traffic and noise this month

Gary Baki said the helicopters and jets would be flying day and night as part of familiarisation training before APEC commences.

Australia’s control of the airspace comes as the result of a direct request for assistance by PNG whose Defence Force only has one airplane and one helicopter.

“I would like to reassure the community that they should not be alarmed by the increased presence of ADF maritime and airspace assets,” Mr Baki said.

“They are here at our request in order to assist the JSTF with security arrangements and will make every effort to minimise any disruption to residents.”

The PNGDF and the ADF are co-operating for the APEC security operations under the auspices of the so-called Joint Security Task Force.

Other countries are also providing support for the security operations, including the US Coast Guard which is to provide “inshore security” in the capital.

Indonesia and New Zealand have provided training and other assistance to the PNG Police for their APEC arrangements.

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