Operation Kimba: ADF support for PNG national elections

At the request of the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Australian Defence Force is providing niche capabilities to support the conduct of the 2022 national elections. Working with the PNG Electoral Commission, Papua New Guinea Defence Force and Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, the ADF is providing specialist planning and logistics support, along with Royal Australian Air Force air transport using two C-27J Spartan and one C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, which are ideally suited to the mountainous terrain and tropical runways located across PNG.

RAAF Sergeant Meeka Cowling (left) and Corporal Stanley Loavi from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force exchange gifts, after an eight-year gap between visits at the Air Transport Wing - Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Photo by CPL Jonathan Goedhart

Under Operation KIMBA, the ADF has more than 130 personnel and three aircraft operating from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Air Transport Wing in Port Moresby to provide planning, logistics and air transport support. This has involved transporting PNG’s Joint Security Task Force members as well as ballots, electoral material and electoral officials across the country.

Two Royal Australian Air Force C-27J Spartan and one C-130J Hercules aircraft have conducted numerous flights to a range of locations, including Weewak, Mt Hagen, Kiunga, Moro, Vanimo, Buka, and Lae.