HMAS Choules recently hosted an Official Reception and Ceremonial Sunset to mark the end of their mission as part of Operation LANDSCAPE.
The High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (PNG), Ms Deborah Stokes and Commanding Officer Choules, Commander Ashley Papp, hosted approximately 80 Australian and PNG Government Officials at the traditional ceremony, hosted in the ship’s Temporary Air Shelter.
Guests included local business, community and provincial representatives, senior staff of the Manus Offshore Processing Centre, Senior Leadership members of the Tarangau Navy Base, Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), Mr Martin Bowles, PSM and the PNG Secretary of Defence, Mr John Porti.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Choules, Commander Ashley Papp said the reception recognised the strength of relationships built during the deployment.
“During our time in Papua New Guinea, Choules forged relationships with local officials and other Australian Government Agencies. The Official Reception recognised the importance of these relationships and was a chance for the crew to return some of the hospitality afforded to the ship’s crew while on operation.
“A number of presentations were made at the event. The highlight for the guests was observing the Navy tradition of the Ceremonial Sunset, which a number of guests commented favourably on,” said Commander Papp.
“The reception was also a great demonstration on the continuation of the cooperation between the Defence Forces of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
“No one onboard HMAS Choules will forget the experiences we have had while on Operation LANDSCAPE. It has been a great adventure” said Commander Papp.
Choules has now departed Papua New Guinea and is enroute to her homeport, Garden Island, Sydney.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131856.