Papua New Guinea Military

Papua New Guinea is a country located in Oceania and borders both the Pacific Ocean and the Coral Sea. It has a population of around 8.5 million people and the official language is English, while Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu, and some 800 indigenous languages are also spoken. The majority of the population are Christian, with some other religious denominations such as Animism also present.

The military of Papua New Guinea consists of three branches; Army, Navy, and Air Force. The total active personnel in the military are around 2,500 people. The Army has around 2,000 personnel with a focus on ground operations and border protection. It also has a Navy with 250 personnel for naval operations as well as 10 combat vessels for maritime defense missions within Papua New Guinea’s waters. The Air Force has 250 personnel with 5 combat aircrafts for air support operations and air defense missions within Papua New Guinea’s borders. Papua New Guinea is also part of the Pacific.┬áSee naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Papua New Guinea.


The defense of Papua New Guinea encompasses (2009) 3 100 men enlisted and is organized into two battalions and four patrol boats. Papua New Guinea has no fighter aircraft. Defense costs decreased in 1985-2007 from 1.5% to 0.7% of GDP. Australia has a military training unit of about 40 men in the country. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that PNG stands for Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea Army

Papua New Guinea’s defense

Papua New Guinea has a small and lightly equipped army and is supported by Australia. The total force of Papua New Guinea’s armed forces is 3600 active personnel (2018, IISS). The country has no navy or air force of its own.

The land component is very lightly equipped and had no heavier weapons than bombers. The air component has a crew of about 100 personnel, three light transport aircraft and three helicopters. The sea component has a crew of about 200 personnel, four patrol boats and three landing craft.

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International operations

Papua Ny-Buinea participated in 2018 in the UN operation in Sudan (UNAMID) with two observers.

In August 2007, Prime Minister Somares National Alliance won 27 of the 109 seats in Parliament. Another 13 seats were filled with candidates supporting Somare. However, the alliance still needed 15 votes to have its leader re-elected as prime minister.

In March 2008, Somare declared that he would resign as prime minister. After 40 years in politics and at the age of 71, he thought it was time for a generational shift. He reiterated his intention to resign in September 2008, but still remains on the record.

Anti-Chinese looting erupted in May 2009 after a fighting battle between Chinese and Papua workers at a Chinese-funded nickel factory under construction. There have historically been many smaller Chinese traders in PNG.

Somare became seriously ill in April 2011 and was hospitalized in Singapore, where he was operated on by heart. In June, his family announced that he was resigning from the Prime Minister’s post. In August, a majority in parliament decided to put Peter O’Neill on the post. However, when Somare returned from Singapore, he decided to challenge this appointment, went to the Supreme Court, which quickly issued an order requiring Somare to be reinstated. O’Neill and the governor-general of the country refused, and the country was thus thrown into a constitutional crisis. In mid-January 12, Somare Colonel Colonel Yaura Sasa appointed the Chief of Defense, and a week later, along with 30 soldiers, captured the military headquarters in Port Moresby, the Taurama Barracks. At the same time, he put in command of the armed forces, Brigadier General Francis Agwi in house arrest. Sasa demanded that O’Neill resign from the Prime Minister’s office within a week. The military uprising was turned down, 15 of the soldiers involved arrested and Sasa charged with high treason.

Over the next six months, the crisis between parliament and the Supreme Court intensified. It first ended with the July 2012 parliamentary elections won by O’Neill’s party. He formed a coalition government, which included Former Prime Minister Somare joined residents At the same time, the Supreme Court President was dismissed and Parliament passed legislation giving it greater control over the Supreme Court. During the crisis, the Deputy Prime Minister appeared in the Supreme Court with police briefs to arrest the Supreme Court President.