Australia and Indonesia combine forces to tackle illegal fishing

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), LSIS James Whittle (photographer)

Lieutenant Commander Mark Sorby (left), from Headquarters Northern Command gives a briefing to Lieutenant Colonel Dickry Rizanny (centre), Commanding Officer KRI Tombak, and Colonel Didik Kurniawan, Indonesian Naval Attaché, following the successful conclusion of the 2015 Australian-Indonesian Coordinated Patrol. (photo: )
Lieutenant Commander Mark Sorby (left), from Headquarters Northern Command gives a briefing to Lieutenant Colonel Dickry Rizanny (centre), Commanding Officer KRI Tombak, and Colonel Didik Kurniawan, Indonesian Naval Attaché, following the successful conclusion of the 2015 Australian-Indonesian Coordinated Patrol.

Illegal fishing has been the focus of a combined Australian Defence Force and Indonesian Armed Forces operation, concluding in Darwin last week.

The fifth Australian and Indonesian coordinated maritime security patrol commenced in Kupang, Indonesia on 15 June and took place in areas of the Timor and Arafura Seas north of Darwin.

The coordinated patrol included ships, aircraft and headquarters staff from both countries in two synchronised task groups.

Armidale Class Patrol Boat, HMAS Glenelg and a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft represented the Australian Defence Force.  The Indonesian armed forces provided naval vessels KRI Tombak and KRI Hiu and a CASA NC-212 aircraft.

Commander Northern Command Commodore Brenton Smyth said the patrol was an excellent opportunity to share information and develop new skills.

“Due to weather conditions this year’s patrol did not result in apprehensions, however the combined task group created a potent deterrence effect for would be illegal foreign fishers,” he said.

The coordinated patrol featured both harbour and sea phases including demonstrations, desktop exercises, communications, ship manoeuvres, simulated boarding party procedures, safety of life at sea and search and rescue exercises.

“By conducting these sorts of activities we learn a lot from each other and lay the foundations for a strong and enduring friendship, which will ultimately go a long way to improving the effectiveness of maritime security operations in our region,” Commodore Smyth said.