Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Parramatta has departed Port Vila, Vanuatu, after a successful visit to strengthen relationships and security cooperation with the Pacific Island nation.
During her four day stay, Parramatta’s crew of 190 combined training and community engagement before returning to maritime patrol duties in the region.
Commanding Officer Commander Simon Cannell said there was great value in investing in the relationship between Australia and Vanuatu.
“During our time in Port Vila, we took part in a joint training exercise with the Pacific Patrol Boat RVS Tukoro, operated by the Vanuatu Police Force Maritime Wing.
“During the exercises, we conducted a crew exchange, so some members of our ship’s company were able to experience life at sea on a Pacific Patrol Boat,” CMDR Cannell said.
Parramatta is conducting a four week South West Pacific deployment, undertaking maritime surveillance patrols as part of Operation Solania.
“Royal Australian Navy vessels have taken part in this enduring Australian Defence Force operation since 2009, providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to the Pacific Islands Countries,” CMDR Cannell said.
Operation Solania aims to detect and deter illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activity.
“The operation assists South Pacific Island states to protect their fisheries and natural resources, helping to foster economic development and stability in the region, which is in Australia’s strategic interest,” CMDR Cannell said.
Press Release, July 08, 2014; Image: Australian Defence