Australia, Indonesia carry out trilateral maritime patrol

Australian Border Force Cutter (ABFC) Cape Wessel on patrol with the BAKAMLA vessel Ular Laut 4805. Photo: ABF

The Australian Border Force worked with Indonesian Coast Guard and ministry of marine affairs and fisheries to carry out a trilateral maritime security patrol in the Timor Sea north-west of Darwin.

The patrol, which targeted illegal exploitation of natural resources, concluded on October 11.

Operation Shearwater and the MMAF Coordinated Patrols are usually standalone patrols but, in a first for all of the involved agencies, were combined into a single operation.

These patrols target the illegal exploitation of natural resources and help to stop illegal fishing and environmental threats, while simultaneously improving operational communication between Australia and Indonesia.

The Australian Border Force Cutter (ABFC) Cape St George worked alongside BAKAMLA vessel KN Gaja Laut 4804 and MMAF vessels KP Orca 01 and Hui Macan Tutul 01 with an ABF Dash-8 aerial aircraft complementing the surface assets.

In support of this operation, an AFMA officer was on board ABFC Cape St George for the duration of the patrol.

Commander Maritime Border Command (MBC), Rear Admiral (RADM) Peter Laver, said these activities demonstrate the inter-operability of MBC, BAKAMLA and MMAF assets and enhance Australia’s collaboration between agencies involved.

“The combined Operation demonstrates the close relationship between MBC, AFMA, BAKAMLA and MMAF to combat the ongoing threats of illegal civil maritime activity, including foreign fishing either side of Australia and Indonesia’s maritime boundaries.

This was the fifth operation Shearwater conducted between the ABF and BAKAMLA, with the inaugural patrol occurring in October 2013.

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