The Australian Defence Force (ADF) continues to build relationships in Samoa through a series of activities with the community as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to the region.
Working together with a focus on security and safety, 210 personnel on board HMAS Choules arrived in the capital, Apia, for a week of enhanced engagement.
Leadership meetings, cultural exchanges with the Royal Australian Navy Band, a Women, Peace and Security Summit and a helicopter display at local schools were some of the highlights of the successful visit, which was held from 19 to 26 August.
Contingent Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Will Harvey said the visit demonstrated the close connection between our two nations.
“Every time we visit Samoa we have new opportunities to work together on a variety of topics that are important to us both,” Lieutenant Colonel Harvey said.
“For the second time this year, we had the opportunity to conduct engagements that allow us to learn more and share knowledge about security and safety with Samoan leaders in this sector.
“This type of cooperation between governments is important to prepare both countries to operate more effectively in the event we need to partner for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations or other joint activities.”
A key activity during the visit was the opportunity to help with Samoa’s ongoing reforestation program.
The ship’s company of HMAS Choules joined Samoans in planting thousands of trees as part of this important national environmental program.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Choules, Commander Scott Houlihan says he and the visiting personnel deeply appreciated the warm reception.
“The Samoan community were very welcoming and we have been able to show our appreciation for the hospitality in their beautiful country,” Commander Houlihan said.
“This visit continues to build on the strong foundation and history of Australia’s close partnership with Samoa.”
Imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20192052.