BY ELIAS NANAU
The PNG Defence Force presented a back brief about its five years of engagement in the security operations of APEC 2018 to stakeholders and the media on Wednesday.
The briefing which is essentially “Lessons Learnt from PNGDF” is focused on three key areas of strategic planning, operational and tactical.
“We went through a sequence of events and identified strengths and weaknesses,” said Colonel Siale Diro, then the Deputy Commander of APEC 2018 Joint Security Task Force.
25 organisations were part of the joint task force team.
“It is our responsibility to record and present for our future generations,” he said.
In what is hailed as the first ever kind of briefing following any security operations, it will then be merged into a journal, copyrighted and becomes an intellectual property of the PNGDF for history and reference for future operations.
“This is the biggest security operation that we’ve ever been part of in the history of our country,” Diro said.
“It would be irresponsible and remiss of us not to do justice and pass on information to our next generation.”
“It will provide a baseline understanding for the generation to come,” he said.
He revealed the security planning, upon request from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and as it was the first time APEC was going be hosted by a small Pacific nation-they included a subtle “Pacific flavour.”
What that meant was that they tried to make sure the environment was “happy and condusive” for the visitors with minimum military presence or concerns of security threats.
“You didn’t see fighter aircrafts dominating the skies during that one week,” he began.
“You didn’t see Royal Australian Air Force providing total air support.”
“You didn’t see on the street overt military presence.”
“We tried to hang back as much as we could and arrive at the safe moment so our visibility will be minimised as much as possible.
Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia who provided support to the security operations congratulated the PNGDF on their effort.
Head of Australian Defence Staff Colonel James Kidd said though the security planning was trying to satisfy what foreign and big economies desired, it was done through the Pacfic Way and they were immensely proud.