Top End exercise improves regional security

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), LSIS James Whittle (photographer)

Location(s): Darwin

Topic(s): HMAS Coonawarra, Patrol Boat (PB), Exercise PARADISE

Able Seaman Marine Technician Joshua Eyles of HMAS Larrakia talks with a member of HMPNGS Moresby boarding party team while conducting boarding party exercise during Exercise Paradise.  (photo: LSIS James Whittle)
Able Seaman Marine Technician Joshua Eyles of HMAS Larrakia talks with a member of HMPNGS Moresby boarding party team while conducting boarding party exercise during Exercise Paradise.
The Australian and Papua New Guinean navies have successfully completed Exercise PARADISE off the coast of Darwin, sharing knowledge and rehearsing scenarios to improve regional security and interoperability between the forces.
 
Five patrol boats took part in this year’s engagement, replicating real-life situations they might face during patrols of their respective waters.
 
Exercise Director, Commander Alex Hawes, said the crews were set a challenging schedule of combined navigation, boarding and weapons firing exercises over 11 days.
 
“Exercise PARADISE is another example of the closeness and strength of the ongoing military relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea,” Commander Hawes said.
 
“We share a professional ethic and common values, which allows us to work well together.
 
“Training as you intend to fight, as the expression goes, means when there is a threat to our two countries, we have already established our interoperability and are prepared to meet challenges together.
 
“While our patrol boats have similar capabilities and procedures, there are differences and these are what make us stronger.
 
“We learn much from each other as we spend time working on each other’s ships and rehearse the best ways to undertake maritime surveillance and security operations in the region.”
 
Exercise PARADISE is an annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Royal Australian Navy and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force – Maritime Element.
 
This year’s exercise was one of the largest iterations with five patrol boats participating, including HMA Ships LarrakiaMaitland and Ararat from Australia, and HMPNG ShipsSeeadler and Moresby from Papua New Guinea.