FSS Micronesia IFR visit

Published on SGT Dave Morley (author), LSIS Helen Frank (author)

Location(s): HMAS Waterhen, Sydney

Topic(s): International Fleet Review

Lieutenant Erikson Peter, Chief Petty Officer Sirel James and Able Seaman Electronics Technician Gary Ioanis of Micronesia Police Maritime Wing in Sydney for the International Fleet Review. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
Lieutenant Erikson Peter, Chief Petty Officer Sirel James and Able Seaman Electronics Technician Gary Ioanis of Micronesia Police Maritime Wing in Sydney for the International Fleet Review.

Among the dozens of warships, big and small, gracing Sydney Harbour during IFR, there was one crewed by policemen rather than sailors.

The 162-tonne Pacific-class patrol boat FSS Micronesia comes under the control of the Federated States of Micronesia Police Maritime Wing, since Micronesia does not have a defence force.

Alongside at HMAS Waterhen during IFR, XO LEUT Erikson Peter, a 18-year veteran, said he was excited to be part of the IFR.

“We are very appreciative and enjoy all of it; it’s good to be a partner to such a kind nation,” he said.

“It’s a very good opportunity and a good relationship; we’ve learnt a lot from the establishments we went to for training.”

CPO Sirel James said the men had been working well together on the way down to Australia.

“They have all been looking forward to the experience of participating in the IFR,” he said.

“It’s been very nice to join with the RAN ships and experience how the RAN works.”

ABET Gary Ioanis said the voyage was “a long, long way, but definitely worth it”.

“According to our ‘higher-up’ back home, we’ve made history for our country,” he said.

“Sydney is such a big city, just like in the movies and posters.”

AB Ioanis said it had been a great experience working with the RAN and other navies and getting a little taste of navy life.

“I feel proud and I’ve learnt a lot, including about ships manoeuvring,” he said.

FSS Micronesia was the 12th patrol boat of the 22 of its class built in Australia and was handed over in November 1990.