Ship bolsters crucial partnerships during ‘Success’ful’ visit to Samoa

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Sarah West (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Location(s): Apia, Samoa

Topic(s): HMAS Success (OR 304), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Members of the ship's company of HMAS Success and members of the Samoan Police Force on the police patrol boat Nafanua, during a visit to Apia, Samoa as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018. (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
Members of the ship's company of HMAS Success and members of the Samoan Police Force on the police patrol boat Nafanua, during a visit to Apia, Samoa as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018.

HMAS Success has achieved the mission of meaningful and mutually beneficial engagement with partner nations after the undertaking of several activities during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018.

A whole-of-ship effort by the crew onboard the Durance class replenishment ship ensured mission success in Samoa – one of the Australian Defence Force’s key regional partners. 

Sailors from the ship’s Electrical and Marine Technical departments volunteered to help their friends in the Samoa Police Service Maritime Wing conduct vital maintenance work on the Pacific Patrol Boat SPB Nafanua, complementing the assistance already provided through the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP).

The ship’s company also partnered with the DCP’s Sea Training Unit to deliver a Damage Control demonstration, showing how the major fleet unit would handle a fire emergency while at sea.

HMAS Success’s Damage Control Officer, Lieutenant Sven Howorth said the scenario was based on a fire in a small compartment, reflecting the type of situations the Samoan police officers might experience in Nafanua.

“We wanted to show the Samoan police how we would go about fighting the type of fire they could possibly have to deal with on their own vessel, so that the knowledge exchange was meaningful for them and relevant to their situation,” Lieutenant Howorth said.

“Basing the scenario around a fire in a small compartment made the demonstration realistic to the spaces onboard Nafanua and the number of responders who might be available to combat the fire, while maintaining safe navigation,” he said. 

Following the demonstration, Success’s Standing Sea Fire and Emergency Party (SSFP) gave their Samoan police counterparts some hands on training on the ship’s fire hoses, giving them a chance to practice nozzle techniques that the DCP Sea Training Unit had talked them through earlier in the week. 

The primary role of the Samoa Police Service officers embarked in SPB Nafanua is the conduct of maritime surveillance and fisheries patrols, so boarding was another opportunity for the Australian and Samoan sailors to exchange ideas and lessons learned.  

HMAS Success’s Boarding Party demonstrated their procedures by boarding and conducting a search of Nafanua, locating a suspicious package that had been hidden onboard by the Sea Training Unit. Nafanua’s regular crew observed the demonstration while role playing civilian mariners.

Women from the Royal Australian Navy replenishment ship also conducted meaningful engagement with Samoa’s female police officers at a Women’s Leadership Forum, moderated by HMAS Success’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Jen Parker.

The forum was timely for the Samoa Police Service, which has three women currently undergoing training in Australia to become the first women posted to sea when the Australian Government replaces Nafanua with the new Guardian Class Patrol Boat next year.