Maritime bonds built during APEC 2018

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author), CPOIS Cameron Martin (photographer)

Location(s): Port Moresby, PNG

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), HMAS Larrakia (P84), HMAS Glenelg (P96), Operation APEC ASSIST

Armidale Class Patrol Boats HMAS Larrakia and HMAS Glenelg lead HMNZS Otago in a sail past of HMAS Adelaide as the Australian and international maritime elements prepare to depart Fairfax Harbour, Port Moresby on completion of Operation APEC 2018 ASSIST. (photo: CPOIS Cameron Martin)
Armidale Class Patrol Boats HMAS Larrakia and HMAS Glenelg lead HMNZS Otago in a sail past of HMAS Adelaide as the Australian and international maritime elements prepare to depart Fairfax Harbour, Port Moresby on completion of Operation APEC 2018 ASSIST.

The successful conclusion of APEC 2018 Leaders’ Week marked a very successful conclusion of a significant maritime security effort undertaken by Papua New Guinea and supported by international security partners Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The maritime security effort was undertaken by the PNG Joint Security Task Force-Maritime Element which consisted of numerous Royal PNG Constabulary water police vessels and the PNG Defence Force patrol boats HMPNG Ships Moresby and Dreger, supported by HMA Ships Adelaide, Glenelg and Larrakia, HMNZS Otago and eight US Coast Guard Transportable Port Security Boats. 

The APEC 18 ASSIST Maritime Component Commander, Captain Paul O’Grady, was impressed by the results achieved by the PNG’s JSTF-Maritime Element, and proud of the professionalism demonstrated by the international security partners who formed the Maritime Component and the bonds reinforced between the militaries of the four nations.

“The successful delivery of maritime security effects by the Joint Security Task Force, supported by the ADF, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the US Coast Guard, was the culmination of months and years of work, and demonstrated fantastic cooperation,” Captain O’Grady said.

“These efforts commenced with joint staff planning, various bilateral and multilateral exercises and finally the force integration training, where we integrated the various capabilities to provide the best possible maritime security and contingency forces in support of the PNG Government.

“It has been an honour and privilege to work hand-in-hand with our PNG hosts, and to see the flags of all four maritime security forces flying around Fairfax Harbour.”

The Commander of Task Force Davara, the PNG Defence Force’s contribution to the JSTF–Maritime Element, Commander Willie Galia, was grateful for the support provided by the Australian, New Zealand and United States maritime units.

“To see the four flags flying in this part of the world, and the four nations working seamlessly together, has been a special experience,” CMDR Galia said.

“When the planning for APEC 2018 security commenced four years ago, we knew that we could achieve the outcomes by integrating PNG Defence Force and Royal PNG Constabulary capabilities, supported by our international friends.

“This has been a role model example of developing forces through a continuous process of planning, exercise and integration to deliver an important operation.”

Chief Inspector John Bana-Koiri of the Royal PNG Constabulary was embarked in HMAS Adelaide as a maritime security liaison officer for the APEC 2018 Leaders’ Week. 

“APEC has been an outstanding example of how the policing and defence forces in Papua New Guinea can work together,” he said.

“This level of integration sets a benchmark for future joint activities, and it also showcases how we can work with international security partners.

“Working together effectively is not only an organisation-to-organisation effort, but also person-to-person, and the many friendships that my colleagues and I have built with international security partner personnel provide a foundation for future cooperation.”

Almost 1100 personnel from the ADF, the Royal New Zealand Navy and US Coast Guard were embarked in Adelaide, Otago, Glenelg and Larrakia throughout the APEC 2018 Leaders’ Summit.