Australia and Papua New Guinea are strengthening cooperation in the areas of maritime surveillance and policing, with Exercise PARADISE 2014, officially opened at a ceremony on 4 November.
Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Broome is in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea for the exercise and is working alongside Papua New Guinea Defence Force Maritime Element (PNGDF(ME)) Pacific Class Patrol Boats HMPNG Ships Seeadler and Rabaul and Landing Craft Heavy HMPNGS Salamaua.
Commanding Officer Broome, Lieutenant Commander Mick Kerrisk said he and the crew were delighted to take part in Exercise PARADISE 14.
“Opportunities like Exercise PARADISE are fantastic for our two nations to further reaffirm their commitment to policing and protecting our respective and joint maritime areas of responsibility,” Lieutenant Commander Kerrisk said.
“To be able to train alongside our neighbours enables friendships and professional relationships to be borne that will further aid our efforts in stamping out illegal activity at sea.”
While in Port Moresby, Broome held an official reception. Guests included the Australian High Commissioner, Ms Deborah Stokes, Head of Australian Defence Staff, Colonel Dick Parker and Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) Chief of Staff Colnel Mark Goina, MBE, who were treated to a Ceremonial Sunset, led by Guard Commander, Lieutenant Evan Healy.
The wharf at HMPGDS Basilisk proved to be the perfect setting for the official reception with Patrol Boats from both nations (Broome and Seeadler) berthed on either side of a marquee.
“In the backdrop of the reception, were five fishing vessels which had been caught fishing illegally by Seeadler. This made an ideal talking point and ice-breaker for the crews involved,” Lieutenant Commander Kerrisk said.
The deployment to Papua New Guinea is a highlight for many of the crew who have just brought Broome out of an extensive maintenance period.
“It’s been a sensational journey getting the ship from deep maintenance to operationally capable in such a short time with such a great team. This is my first time in Port Moresby, it’s absolutely incredible, and it’s such a unique part of the world,” Able Seaman Jessica Fisher said.
Broome is representing the Royal Australian Navy at Exercise PARADISE 14, the fifth iteration of the bi-annual exercise aimed at strengthening cooperation in areas of maritime surveillance and policing as well as enhancing ties between the two nations.
Over the next two weeks Broome, crewed by Assail Five alongside their Papua New Guinean counterparts, will hone their skills in the classroom and then at sea in areas of tactical communications, damage control, seamanship, navigation, boarding operations and gunnery.