The 13th Commander Defense Force (CDF) Major General Mark Goina was officially given the command of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) today in a formal hand-over and take-over parade at the Murray Barracks, Port Moresby today.
Goina said in his reign as new commander, he intends to carry on from where the outgoing CDF Major General Gilbert Toropo did and left off, which is sovereignty protection- the primary role of the defense force.
“To facilitate on this, we will implement a five-year development plan aim at improving morale discipline operational effectiveness, nation building capacity and the delivery of the infrastructure that will enable us to undertake sustainable growth,” said Goina.
“The plan is geared towards five lines of effort, and these are people, organizational reform, operational efficiency, infrastructure and national building, with the first to be the most important line of effort is people.”
“We will reset the force with the focus on our duty of care, by ensuring our personnel ae properly paid, clothed, equip, fed, accommodated, and trained.”
“The five-year development plan will be articulated to the next PNG Defence Force white paper and we will assist the secretary for defence with producing this key stone document.”
After outlining what he intends to carryout in his 10-year term as CDF, the Major General went on to thanking the outgoing CDF Major General Gilbert Toropo for his work and achievements in the defence force as his predecessor.
“To the outgoing chief of defence force Major General Gilbert Toropo, thank you for your many years of service to the PNGDF. During the eight years of commander, you led us through a time of great change and accomplish all the task that was required of you.”
Some of the things accomplished by the outgoing CDF included the renewed and strengthened relationship with PNG’s defence bilateral partners, a new ship replacement program with the Australian Defence Force, the PNGDF Medium Term Capability Development Plan 2018- 2022, the Force 2030 Strategic Plan, the starting of the construction of the Hela barracks in Tari, the Flights of Excellence program with e Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the commencement of the PNGDF home ownership scheme.
“For these we are grateful, and on behalf of the PNGDF I wish you, your wife Mary and your family good speed in the years to come,” concluded the Major General.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Commander Major General Gilbert Toropo, in his farewell speech had nothing but praises for the men and women in the defence force for their support in his term as CDF, and he also thanked the foreign military organisations for the support they have been giving especially Australia, of which is said is more than just a partner, but as family to PNG.
Commander Toropo then encouraged the new CDF to carry on with the command and lead the defense force into the future and urged the troops continue to the good work with the new commander.
Lastly, Commander Toropo thanked his family for the support they have given him during his years as CDF, especially his wife Mary, of which he said has given all her support at home and the good advises that enabled him to focus on his duties as commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.