The area is potentially vulnerable to international drug and arms smuggling and piracy. Deterring and responding to these activities requires regular maritime surveillance to enforce regulation and intercept and arrest transgressors. The vast areas to be patrolled warrants increased coordination with constabulary, fisheries, customs, and possibly with the surveillance efforts of PNG’s neighbours. In this respect, the establishment of the National Surveillance Coordination Centre (NSCC) is commended and is deserving of greater inter-agency support and representation.
To maximise the effectiveness of air surveillance and maritime vessel response, the location of forward operating bases for response elements should be strategically situated to reduce transit times. Maritime patrols would benefit from complementary shore-based support including interagency intelligence sharing, surveillance and communications infrastructure and, if possible, international and domestic air surveillance support.