There have been some new faces around HMAS Adelaide in the lead up to Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018, with a group of Republic of Fiji Military Forces embarked to work with the ship’s company.
Eight Fijian Navy and Army members joined the ship when she departed from Fleet Base East in Sydney to work with the ship’s departments and experience how an Australian warship works on deployment.
One of Adelaide’s Officer of the Watch (OOW), Lieutenant Eve Parker took a group of Australian and Fijian Midshipman through OOW manoeuvres with HMAS Melbourne during the voyage from Sydney to Townsville.
“We’re fairly similar to the Fijians, we just work at a different scale than they do,” LEUT Parker said.
“Taking part in our exercises is a really good opportunity for them to hone their finer navigation skills, to the benefit of their navy.
“I think they found it really valuable. They asked heaps of questions and were quite engaged in the exercise, which was great to see.”
Although SBLT Jone Vatunilagi said he had previously spent time at sea on Australian patrol boats, he hadn’t worked aboard a ship as large as Adelaide.
“I was attached to an Armidale class patrol boat during Exercise Kakadu in 2016, where we did similar things – replenishment approaches, OOW manoeuvres and platform boarding,” SBLT Vatunilagi said.
“On Adelaide we got to see and participate in OOW manoeuvres and replenishment-at-sea approaches with Melbourne, which was on a much larger scale than we would do in Fiji, where we would usually conduct manoeuvres in our smaller patrol boats.”
The visiting Fijian personnel will disembark when Adelaide and Melbourne arrive in Suva, the first port of their Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018 deployment.
IPE Image gallery: http://images.defence.gov.au/s20181135