Royal Australian Navy HMAS Armidale visits Vanuatu

Wing Commander, Johnathan Durden (l) and Lt Commander, Paul Hardman (r) and the HMAS Armidale at the background at Lapetasi Wharf.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Patrol Boat HMAS Armidale has berth at the Lapetasi wharf for a 3-day port visit.

This is part of a regional South West Pacific deployment.

From its home port in Darwin, HMAS Armidale has traveled via Cairns and across the Coral Sea to conduct regional engagement with some of Australia’s closest partners in the South West Pacific.

This is not the first visit to Vanuatu for many of the ship’s company, and they are excited to be returning for more engagement with the Vanuatu Police Force and friends.

Australian Defence Attache for the South West Pacific, Wing Commander Johnathan Durden visits Port Vila on a regular basis. He said it was easy to work with security force in Vanuatu as it is similar to that of the Australian Defense Force.

“We conduct trainings with the Vanuatu Police Force and recently we have completed a two weeks exercise on Leadership, Communication and Humanitarian response here in Port Vila,” he said.

“The VMF is second to none. Vanuatu is prone to disasters and the VMFs are really good at what they do post-disaster.”

Following her visit to Port Vila, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Paul Hardman said that the HMAS Armidale will travel to Tuvalu and Tonga who are also partners in the Australian Department of Defence funded Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP).

“PMSP is a 30 year commitment by the Australian Government to provide ongoing support to Pacific Island Countries to combat a wide range of maritime security threats, including illegal fishing, transnational crime and irregular people movement, through the provision of sovereign patrol boats, advisors, training, maintenance support and regional aerial surveillance,” he said.

“While we here, our crew will be engaging in activities with the VPF through sports, community work and more before we continue on to Tuvalu and Tonga.”

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