HMAS Adelaide’s departure from Port Moresby has completed a successful regional engagement with Papua New Guinea’s political and defence leaders.
Prior to the ship’s departure Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, The Honourable Mr Peter O’Neill visited the ship after arriving by an embarked MRH-90 Multi-Role Helicopter from the nearby airport.
The Prime Minister was provided with a tour of Adelaide by Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Earley and viewed the maritime capability Australia will deploy in support of Papua New Guinea’s hosting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week in November 2018.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency Mr Bruce Davies.
“I was honoured to welcome Prime Minister O’Neill and his delegation, including Minister for Defence, Mr Solan Mirisi, Secretary of Defence Mr Trevor Meauri and Chief of Defence Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo to Adelaide,” Captain Earley said.
“This visit provided a valuable opportunity to showcase the specific capabilities Australia will provide for Papua New Guinea’s hosting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week and to further build interoperability and understanding in the lead up to this important international event.
“This visit also provided an opportunity to demonstrate Australia’s humanitarian and disaster response capability that we can deploy in support of our friends and neighbours if required.”
During the tour, Prime Minister O’Neill and High Commissioner Davies discussed the close and long-standing bilateral Defence relationship.
“Australia and Papua New Guinea’s strong and mutually beneficial defence relationship is based on a shared interest in regional security as well as strong geographical and historical ties,” Mr Davies said.
“I was delighted to discuss a number of important issues with Prime Minister O’Neill on board this impressive ship, including bilateral defence cooperation, regional security issues and Papua New Guinea’s hosting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2018.”
Before his departure, Prime Minister O’Neill met with two members of Adelaide’s ship company who hosted their Papua New Guinea relatives on board for the day as well as three Papua New Guinea exchange officers undertaking officer training at HMAS Creswell.
Adelaide was in Port Moresby as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 17, a joint task group deployment to the Indo-Pacific region focussed on international engagement and demonstrating Australia’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities.
Ships from the Task Group recently completed port visits to the Philippines, Federated States of Micronesia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Malaysia, Singapore and Timor-Leste.
Indo-Pacific Endeavour is evidence of Australia’s demonstrated commitment to security and cooperation throughout South-East Asia and the Pacific.
The deployment also demonstrates the capability and interoperability of the Australian Defence Force’s largest asset, the landing helicopter dock in support of humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.
Indo-Pacific Endeavour also draws upon force elements and service personnel from the Navy, Australian Army, Air Force and Defence civilians.