Sirius’ successful visit to Samoa

This article has photo gallery Published on Army CAPT Jarrad Baldwin (author), CPL Jessica de Rouw (photographer)

Location(s): Apia, Samoa

Topic(s): HMAS Sirius (A266), Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP)

Commanding Officer HMAS Sirius, Commander Melanie Verho (centre); with the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Mrs Sara Moriarty (centre right); and Deputy Head of Mission Amanda Jewel (centre left); and participants from the Women, Peace and Security meeting at the Australian High Commission in Apia, Samoa. (photo: CPL Jessica de Rouw)
Commanding Officer HMAS Sirius, Commander Melanie Verho (centre); with the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Mrs Sara Moriarty (centre right); and Deputy Head of Mission Amanda Jewel (centre left); and participants from the Women, Peace and Security meeting at the Australian High Commission in Apia, Samoa.

The Australian Defence Force completed a key engagement activity in Samoa in July, as part of its ongoing commitment to deepen relationships in the region.

Around 100 ADF personnel, including the vessel HMAS Sirius, deployed to Samoa as part of the Pacific Support Force, conducting activities to support peace, security and sovereignty.

Commander of the Pacific Support Force, Lieutenant Colonel Will Harvey confirmed the visit built on recent regional engagements in Tonga and Tuvalu and a long history of cooperation between Australia and Samoa.

“The Pacific Support Force conducted a number of activities during its deployment to Samoa including the Australian Army Band forging a strong relationship with the Royal Samoa Police Band,” Lieutenant Colonel Harvey said.

“HMAS Sirius’ crew also lent a helping hand to the establishment of the athlete’s village for the Pacific Games.”

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Sirius, Commander Melanie Verho, also hosted a Women, Peace and Security meeting, which was attended by women from the local community.

“It was a great opportunity to exchange experiences with the local community and discuss our shared understanding of the Women in Peace and Security program.

“The connections we have established will serve us well into the future,” Commander Verho said.

Musicians from the Australian Army Band conducted a joint parade with the Royal Samoa Police Band and music workshops during their time together.

The contingent also engaged with a number of officials including the Commissioner of the Royal Samoa Police Force to identify ongoing training and engagement opportunities.

As part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Samoa is set to receive a new Guardian Class Patrol Boat in October 2019 and ongoing infrastructure, training and maintenance assistance.

The Pacific Support Force will continue to engage with Pacific nations as part of the enhanced regional engagement activities throughout the remainder of the year.