The First Royal Pacific Island Regiment of the Papua New Guinea Defece force at Taurama celebrates its 69th Birthday last week.
It is the first Born of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
The first Papua infantry battalion and the second New Guinea Infantry battalion units were PNG native units established in early 1942.
It was during the height of the second World War to support allies’ efforts in the South West Pacific theater of War.
These units were disbanded in 1946.
Early 1960s the Australian Army made the decision to establish a unit in PNG under the Northern Command, hence, Pacific Island Regiment was established at Eggy’s Corner on 11 march, 1951.
Today Eggy’s Corner is known as Taurama Barracks, home of the first Battalion Royal Pacific Island Regiment.
Chief of staff Papua New Guinea Defence Force Captain Philip Polewara said: ” The first battalion RPIR is older than our country and it deserves proudly.”
“Since 11th March 1951 an unbroken legacy of soldiers, drawn from across our strong diversity that is the united tribes of Papua New Guinea, being here for our nation to defend our freedoms and way of life, here on this land down to this day 11 march 202”.
“We were once the world’s best jungle fighters, and I believe we still are, and that reveals the ethos and values of our army over the 69 years. We are here today to celebrate and reflect on that centre piece, that keystone of our formation as a defence force. It is the rock of our nation’s defence of our liberties and Melanesian way of life.”
“Papua New Guineans can be proud of their army from those humble years to this day. Each generation of Papua New Guinean has stepped up to defend our country.”
“The noble service to those ideals of liberty and way of life since our humble beginnings are our army’s credentials, this unique institution of PNG, so nobly serving and fulfilling daily the trust of our people, bearing true faith and allegiance to the founding body of ideas in our declaration of independence and our constitution.”
“We always say, we will defend! What is it that we will defend? It is our liberty, our constitution and our PNG.”
“March 11th is 1RPIR birthday, is a day that usually passes without much public notice, largely away from public view. Our army has executed its duties faithfully and sometimes at great sacrifice to solders and families.”
“To the spouses, children, and families of 1RPIR. You have done well to support your fathers and today mothers too in their service to protect this country PNG.”
“On this juncture I would like to convey on behalf of the General, our humble gratitude for the support and assistance provided by our bilateral partners like Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Indonesia, India, France, China and others.”
“Our future as PNGDF is very promising, thought the country going through tough economic times, our government has been very helpful and supportive to force needs. These shows the confidence and trust our government has in the defence force, because we are the organization of choice.”