BY GORETHY KENNETH
AUSTRALIAN Special Forces have been quietly deployed to Papua New Guinea as part of a massive Australian military and policing effort to help secure Port Moresby ahead of the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November.
They arrived this week to train the security forces on measures to protect world leaders during the APEC meeting in PNG. On the same matter, the US Vice-Presidential advance team also arrived to support PNG in their pursuit to provide the best security for the world leaders.
“We’re standing ready to support the PNGDF to secure the APEC meeting and help PNG showcase the country to the world.
“As part of the Australian government effort, the Australian Defence Force is providing advisory assistance to the PNG joint security taskforce, which has been established to provide a safe and secure APEC.”
The US Security team said: “This is your country, this is your APEC so you lead the way!”
These were the words spoken by one of the US representative last Tuesday, September 11, while speaking with the motorcade and escort team at the Jackson International Airport in Port Moresby.
Despite the heat of the sun, the motorcade and escort team were eager to show that they were prepared to receive the US Vice-President advance planning team when their military aircraft arrives.
Vice-President Mike Pence’s advance staff and crew of about 30 were in Port Moresby to conduct a one-day familiarisation visit in support of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2018 Leaders’ Week preparations.
Joint security taskforce lead planner surface movement, Senior Inspector Philip Koliadi said that with every opportunity they get from such visits, his men were gaining more experience and confidence leading up to the summit in November.
“Although he is the US Vice-Present, he (Mike Pence) will be accorded presidential treatment,” Insp Koliadi said.
Meanwhile, the US team visited Bomana War Cemetery for a tour straight from Jackson Airport.
Asked how their preparations were going, Insp Koliadi reiterated that the Leaders Week would be totally different because there would be total lockdown of city routes.
From November 12-16 there would be restrictions as traffic policemen and static personnel, man each APEC venue.
Then on November 16-18 there would be a total lockdown of the routes.
However traffic policemen would allow access for the public and other APEC-accredited vehicles to pass.