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    USARPAC commander honors Army history throughout South Pacific region in goodwill tour

    USARPAC commander honors Army history throughout South Pacific region in goodwill tour

    Photo By Gen. Rajagau Tuan Lante | Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander, U.S. Army Pacific (right), meets with Papua New...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs Office

    Story by Master Sgt. Mark St. Clair, 25th Infantry Division

    PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – The Papua New Guinea Defense Force hosted Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks Jan. 13.

    Brooks, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, made his first trip to PNG this week, following brief stops in American Samoa and the Solomon Islands. A large portion of the exchange with Brooks, PNGDF Commander Brig. Gen. Gilbert Toropo and Defense Minister Fabian Pok centered on ground forces history in the region.

    Brooks began his visit by laying a wreath at the Commonwealth Cemetery of Bomana, where almost 4,000 Australian, New Guinean and British casualties of World War II are interred. Australian Defense Attaché Col. Dick Parker and PNGDF Installations Commander Col. Siale Diro welcomed Brooks and offered their expertise in a short tour.

    “There’s a common thread - sacrifice,” Brooks said of the many monuments and cemeteries throughout the Pacific. “Particularly in Guadalcanal and Papua New Guinea,” he added, highlighting specifically the valorous sacrifices made during 1942-43.

    After Bomana, the PNGDF then hosted Brooks and U.S. Ambassador to PNG, Salomon Islands and Vanuatu Walter E. North at two of their barracks, Murray, where their defense department is headquartered, and Goldie River, where their soldiers are trained.

    Though this was Brooks’ first visit to PNG, “our relationship with them is not a new one. We have a deep relationship.” One that’s helped the U.S. Army in the Pacific to the PNGDF with support ranging from medical capabilities to engineers to civil affairs, he said.

    Before meeting with Toropo and Pok at Murray Barracks to discuss future partnership, particularly in the area of noncommissioned officer training, Brooks inspected the PNGDF and received a bagpipe and drum playing of “Scotland the Brave” in honor of the U.S. delegation.

    Brooks was then met and challenged by spear-wielding natives in traditional garb. Giving the proper response in Tok Pisin, one of the official languages of PNG, Brooks was recognized and welcomed as a friend and ally.

    Moving through rough and lush terrain to Goldie River, Brooks toured Warrior Wing a training facility started in the 1990s by U.S. Special Forces and home to the PNGDF’s elite. He also toured Goldie River, which houses the PNG National War Museum.

    Prior to arriving in PNG, Brooks visited and paid respects at American war memorials in American Samoa and the Salomon Island of Guadalcanal.

    Prior to departing for Kathmandu, Nepal, and the next leg of his tour, Brooks met with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Discussions included PNG’s preparations for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leader’s summit and the strengthening relationship between the two nation’s armies. APEC will be held in PNG capital Port Moresby in 2018.



    Date Taken: 01.13.2016
    Date Posted: 01.13.2016 19:24
    Story ID: 186241
    Location: PORT MORESBY, PG 

    Web Views: 338
    Downloads: 2