The ability of the Royal Australian and Papua New Guinean navies to work together in maritime security is stronger than ever following the conclusion of Exercise PARADISE this month.
The exercise is the Royal Australian Navy’s primary bilateral maritime engagement activity with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Maritime Element.
This year it involved HMAS Wollongong and HMPNG Ships Seeadler and Moresby.
At the closing ceremony, representatives from both countries highlighted the strong historical, geographical and cultural links and pledged their ongoing support for each other.
Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate James Priday said the Wollongong crew performed professionally during the week-long exercise.
“We remained focussed and motivated on delivering the required outcomes and supporting the local forces,” he said.
“I am incredibly proud of the conduct and effort displayed by the crew.”
It was the first international exercise for Sub Lieutenant Daniel O’Neill, who joined Wollongong as part of his training to become a Maritime Warfare Officer.
“The Wollongong command team allowed me the opportunity to take charge during multi-ship officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres, close-in station keeping, and harbour pilotages. The experience and knowledge I gained during Exercise Paradise will benefit me significantly as I continue my training,” Sub Lieutenant O’Neill said.
A Maritime Warfare Officer is responsible for the control and safety of ships at sea and alongside. The manoeuvres are a series of movements performed between two or more warships while in close quarters.
The development of international friendships was a highlight for Leading Seaman Marine Technician Stuart Macfarlane.
“I was able to visit HMPNGS Seeadler and provide engineering support. I received a local carving from the Second Engineer in return,” he said.
The exercise consists of a harbour and a sea phase and involves graduated training serials covering seamanship, mariner skills, safety and communications.
Wollongong will now return to Australia to support border protection activities and police illegal fishing