The Civil Military Relations (CMR) in Military context is the Military assisting civil authorities whereby the commanders are tasked to ensure civil good order and normalcy is maintained. The Commanders make informed decisions as to address civilian issues or non-military issues in non-military environment. This is challenging and so places military commanders in different dimension to that of their military training. Therefore working in close partnership daily will help improve the operational aspects of the challenges. This is to avoid misunderstandings or misperceptions which in turn may lead to conflicts and mission failure. The military commanders must be aware and be mindful of challenges of military operations other than war (MOOTW).
The PNGDF members are taught in theory the Civil Military Relations and the situations the lessons taught are applied in practical reality on an ad hoc basis such as in National Elections, Call out operations, Disaster operations, Search and Rescue operations, Civil surveillance patrols, National Census, Medical patrols, etc. Such ad hoc situations present chaotic planning resulting in loss of lives and costly exercise in terms of money. Therefore the approach then is to closely work in partnership on a daily basis with the civil governments and the people. From past experiences, the PNGDF did not plan well which resulted in the loss of lives and money and painted negative image of the Force. How will the PNGDF improve in this area? One way is for the Military to be transparent in their policies and that is to cooperate, collaborate and work in partnership with the Civil Governments by taking the concept of Civil Military Relations (CMR) in proactive approach.
CMR POLICY CONCEPT: DOCUMENTATION OF PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES
The Concept: We have good basis to develop cooperative approach such as adopting collaborative attitude in the whole of Government and community capacity forums. In practical terms the PNGDF must work in partnership with Civil Governments and the people. That is to make maximum use of Government Policy on Private Public Partnership (PPP) and many other National and International Policies and conventions that encourages collaborative efforts and networking to deliver services to achieve visions and policies and goals set out by both the National Government and the International Conventions.
The formulation of PNG Defence Organization (PNGDO) CMR concept:
• 09 Sept 2010 – Commander of PNGDF, Brig Gen. F. Agwi and Governor of Gulf Province, Hon Havila Kavo made an undertaking to work in partnership;
• 10 Oct 2010 - MoA write up Team led by Ms Carmel Tamiloeni conducted workshop which was officially opened by the Governor of Gulf Prov.;
• 01 Sept 2011 - Legal Clearance granted by State Solicitor’s Office;
• 09 Apr 2012 - Defence Council (DC) approves draft MoA and because of National Security reasons the Draft MoA was elevated to National status;
• 01 Dec 2012 - DC endorses NEC Policy Submission;
• 09 Sept 2013 - The National Executive Council (NEC) approves the Policy Submission and the Draft MoA between Gulf Provincial Government and Defence Council (NEC Decision 306/2013);
• 03 Dec 2013 - MoA between GPG and DC was signed as policy framework for implementation;
The implementation phase will require the establishment of Joint Security and Development Committee who will oversee the administration, coordination, management of the requirements of the MoA. The Committee will comprise of nine members. The PNGDO representatives will be appointed by both by the Commander PNGDF and the Secretary DoD. Likewise for the GPG, the PA will appoint their members. The Committee will deliberate on the Terms and Conditions and the Services Level Agreement (SLA).
The NEC 306/2013 mandated the establishment of CMR office imbedded in the Administration and manned by the appointed officers of both parties of the MoA. The members of the PNGDO will either be posted or seconded to the Administration. On completion of establishment of Gulf CMR office the next Province will be the Hela Province then the rest of the Provinces.
Having offices in each Province is an all-round security garrison which is a deterrence strategy thus will at real time report security incidents and thus will prevent or avoid possible tensions and disharmony or protect and save resources and lives. Proactive approach is the strategy to adopt than reactive approach.