Papua New Guinea
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US Defence Secretary ready for bilateral meetings


The US Secretary of Defence Lloyd James Austin III has arrived in Papua New Guinea to kick off his bilateral meetings with Prime Minister James Marape and leaders.

This is part of his eighth official visit to the Indo-Pacific region to discuss the next steps following the recent signature of the U.S.-Papua New Guinea Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), which reflects our partnership and our shared values as Pacific countries, the importance of ensuring the security and prosperity of the region, and our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Secretary Austin will meet with Prime Minister Marape, along with Minister for Defence Win Bakri Daki, Secretary for Defence Hari John Akipe, and Chief of Defence Force Major General Mark Goina.

Notably, this will be the first-ever visit to Papua New Guinea by a sitting U.S. Secretary of Defence. He will have a press conference at the APEC House tomorrow Media will be addressed on the outcome of the meetings among others.

Secretary Austin is the 28th Secretary of Defence after he was sworn in on January 22, 2021.

Mr Austin is the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to the Department of Defence and serves on the National Security Council.

He was born in Mobile, Alabama, and raised in Thomasville, Georgia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the Infantry.

He holds a Master of Arts degree in counselor education from Auburn University, and a Master of Business Management from Webster University.

He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.

His 41-year career in the Army included command at the corps, division, battalion, and brigade levels.

Mr Austin was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Seven years later, he would assume the duties of Commanding General of United States Forces – Iraq, overseeing all combat operations in the country. After a tour as the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, Mr. Austin concluded his uniformed service as the Commander of U.S. Central Command, responsible for all military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

In this assignment, he led U.S. and coalition efforts to battle ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

He retired from the Army in April, 2016. Since his retirement from military service, Mr. Austin served on the Boards of Directors for Raytheon Technologies, Nucor, and Tenet Healthcare.