The country will in the coming weeks and months, see the flights of the massive C-17A Globemaster aircrafts over Papua New Guinea (PNG) airspace as part of a big logistical training exercise conducted by the militaries of three countries.
Two of these aircrafts were involved in a parachute drop of fifteen Australian Army personnel as part of a demonstration by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A over Nadzab Tomodachi International Airport just outside Lae, yesterday.
The two C-17A aircraft are currently flying in PNG skies as part of Exercise Global Dexterity 23-2, which will involve up to three C-17A aircrafts from the RAAF, United States Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF).
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) appreciates the support of the PNG Government and PNG Defence Force, and wider community to allow the RAAF to test their skills in one of the world’s most complex flying environments.
The training achieved in PNG during Exercise Global Dexterity 23-2 ensures Australia and its allies can deliver humanitarian assistance anywhere in the Indo-Pacific.
Australian Defence Adviser to PNG, Colonel Travis Gordon, said the exercise will predominantly take place in Australia, but will include two missions to PNG.
In addition to the demonstration that occurred yesterday, all three aircraft will conduct low-level flying training in the Central Highlands on 6th December. These aircraft will fly through valleys travelling east from the vicinity of Telefomin towards Mt. Hagen and Chimbu; before turning north towards Madang, and then eventually landing at Momote on Manus Island.
The C-17A aircraft will then be loaded with ADF vehicles and equipment used in Exercise Puk- Puk for their return flight to Australia.
“During Exercise Puk- Puk, the ADF worked closely with the PNG Defence Force Engineers on partnership and capacity building exercises, including refurbishment of facilities and accommodation, drainage, and road repair on Manus Island,” said Colonel Gordon.
The PNG Defence Force personnel will integrate into Exercise Global Dexterity 23-2 by supporting ADF personnel prepare the clearance zone at Nadzab and help load and secure equipment being extracted from Momote.
“This cooperation between our forces builds on our longstanding defence partnership and enhances our ability to support the PNG Defence Force on future peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster response operations,” said Colonel Gordon.
Missions during Exercise Global Dexterity 23-2 may be subject to amendment or cancellation at short-notice.