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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 3) - Bougainville will receive the first batch of 19 Australian Federal Police officers to be deployed under Australia’s K2 billion (US$622 million) Enhancement Cooperation program at the end of this month.

A high-powered AFP working committee will be in Port Moresby at the end of this week to meet with the Papua New Guinea police hierarchy to firm up the EPC provisions before the actual deployment starts.

Manager for the International Deployment Group of the Australian Federal Police Bill Quade, who will be leading the group to PNG this Sunday, told the Post-Courier from Canberra last Friday that they have identified the first police contingent to be deployed to PNG.

A meeting at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra also confirmed police officers assigned to PNG were undergoing intensive training throughout Australia in preparations for the deployment.

Quade said the Australian Government has nominated a senior police officer to take up the position of assistant commissioner within the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary but declined to divulge his identity.

He said the officer will be under the command of the AFP and this position was one of the key roles in the ECP. "What we are doing primarily is we have identified 19 personnel who will be deployed to Bougainville, our first appointment under the ECP," Quade said.

"They will commence their deployment at the end of this month."

He said the group will first be sent to Port Moresby for a 10-day-training and orientation session and once the training is completed, they will be deployed in Bougainville.

"The selection of police is quiet robust," Quade said.

"We have an expression of interest process with all AFP personnel throughout Australia and overseas, which involves participation from both sworn and unsworn members to be part of the ECP project.

"We are also engaging personnel from our state and territory police throughout Australia and they will play an important role in the ECP."

Police Commissioner Sam Inguba confirmed the AFP working committee’s arrival at the end of this week to meet and firm up everything before the deployment starts.

August 4, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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