Inspiring Next Generation of College Graduates

POMTECH Visits 35 Squadron Detachment


Students from Port Moresby Technical College were given the unique opportunity to visit the 35 Squadron detachment and tour a RAAF C-27J Spartan, which had been deployed to Papua New Guinea as part of the Defence Pacific Air Program. The PNG Defence Force Air Transport Wing also provided tours of their new PAC P-750 aircraft.

During the visit, the students were able to observe the inner workings of the C-27J while RAAF technicians explained its electrical and mechanical operation. Flight Lieutenant Ben Howlett, the detachment commander, stated that the purpose of the visit was to give the students a glimpse of what their future in the aviation world could look like, should they choose to continue their education in this field.

Leading Aircraftman Joshua Row shows the students from Port Moresby Technical College an engine bay of a C-27J Spartan aircraft at Port Moresby airport, Papua New Guinea, during the Defence Pacific Air Program. Photo: Corporal Samuel Miller

The engagement also provided an opportunity for the students to interact with pilots, loadmasters, and aircraft technicians from both Defence Forces, as Aquila Kasu, head of the college’s mechanical department, explained. He added that the visit was a valuable exposure for the students, as it covered various aspects of aviation such as avionics, aircraft engineering, and airframes.

Both mechanical and electrical students participated in the visit, including Shantelle Treloggen, a maintenance, fitting, and machining (MFM) student. She expressed her excitement at the practical experience and how it would benefit her future career as an aircraft engineer.

The PNG Defence Force Air Transport Wing and 35 Squadron have a special partnership as sister squadrons, working closely together under the Flights for Excellence Program and Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program in PNG. Lieutenant Colonel Doug Vavar, the Commanding Officer of the Air Transport Wing, emphasized the importance of the visit for students interested in avionics and aviation trade, as they may potentially find themselves working at the wing alongside 35 Squadron in the future.

Lieutenant Colonel Vavar also highlighted the long-standing relationship between the Defence Forces and Port Moresby Technical College, with a former student of the college having served as a previous Commanding Officer. He believed that this visit would serve as motivation for the students to strive towards achieving their goals.

The Defence Pacific Air Program is part of Australia’s Whole-of-Government effort to increase presence and capacity in the South West Pacific, with a focus on airlift operations in PNG.



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