The flight line of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) Air Transport Wing in Port Moresby is an unlikely place for mates to be reunited, however, Australian Army Lieutenants Fraser Campbell and Will Samios recently caught up there on their first respective overseas deployments with the ADF.
The pair originally met and became close friends at school while both attended St. Ignatius College, Riverview in Sydney in 2011. Shortly afterwards, Lieutenant Samios moved overseas with family.
The pair reunited and picked up their friendship in 2019 at the Royal Military College – Duntroon (RMC-D) where they trained as Army officers.
Upon graduation, Lieutenant Samios commissioned to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, posting to 138th Signal Squadron, 7th Signal Regiment while Lieutenant Fraser commissioned to the Royal Australian Corps of Transport and posted to JMCO Sydney (now Joint Movement Section NSW/ACT), 1st Joint Movements Unit.
The two recently deployed to Papua New Guinea on Operation Kimba, the ADF’s support to the DFAT-led whole-of-government support to PNG’s 2022 national elections.
Lieutenant Campbell, who deployed as an ADF liaison officer to the PNG Electoral Commission, said the pair’s reunion on their first respective overseas deployments with the ADF was completely by chance.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity that I’m overseas with one of my oldest mates supporting our partner nation, just over 10 years since we first met,” Lieutenant Campbell said
The sentiment was echoed by Lieutenant Samios, who deployed with the Cyber Coordination Element for the operation.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to deploy to Papua New Guinea, and made even more special by doing so alongside one of my oldest mates,” Lieutenant Samios said
“I don’t know where we will meet up again, perhaps on our next deployment.”
More than 130 ADF personnel and three Royal Australian Air Force aircraft (two C-27J Spartan and one C-130J Hercules) deployed from early June to provide air transport of ballots and sensitive electoral material for the PNG Electoral Commission and movement of personnel for the PNG Joint Security Task Force for the elections.