Patrols in the western districts of Papua DPR/TV/303

Accession Number F03690
Collection type Film
Measurement 1 min 19 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Place made New Guinea: Papua New Guinea, Papua, Western Papua
Date made 28 October 1965
Access Open
Conflict Period 1960-1969
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Army workboats, landing barges and dugout canoes have been used by members of the 1st Battalion, Pacific Islands Regiment, for the past three weeks while patrolling areas of the Western District of Papua. The patrolling programme started when 130 troops from the Battalion were flown from Port Moresby to Balimo in the Fly River delta. Aim of the patrols is to train members of the Regiment in medium and log range reconnaissance work in areas unfamiliar to them. Areas covered by the patrols have included the Fly River Delta and parts of the River upstream, the Strickland River and numerous waterways in the vast swampland district. Before each area is patrolled, the communication and resupply problems are discussed by the patrol leader and the company commander. Although most patrolling has been by boat, barge or canoe along the waterways, many patrols have moved through secondary and dense primary jungle. Occasionally the troops come across villages where they can take a short rest. At present the western district of Papua is drought stricken and in many areas a shortage of water has resulted in people living on coconut milk. Although most of the resupply to troops is by army light aircraft, members of the Battalion find the coconut milk offered them by the local villagers a welcome relief after a day of patrolling along rivers and tough jungle.

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