HMAS Adelaide’s arrival into Port Moresby has brought the spotlight onto the enduring partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia, the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) maritime component commander for Operation APEC 2018 ASSIST said.
As part of the ADF’s support for APEC 2018, Adelaide embarked a broad range of capabilities that will be made available to the host nation on request to help ensure a safe and secure Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit.
“As our closest neighbour, Papua New Guinea and Australia share many historical, geographical and defence ties, and we are pleased to be here to provide specialised support at the request of the Government of Papua New Guinea,” Maritime Component Commander, Captain Paul O’Grady, said.
“Adelaide is at the forefront of a multinational maritime task group that also comprises of New Zealand Defence Force and United States Coast Guard assets.
“We were delighted to have the chance to welcome aboard several Papua New Guinea dignitaries in the lead up to APEC in order to both highlight what we have to offer and further strengthen the very warm friendship that our nations share.”
The deployment in support of APEC 2018 caps off a busy year for Adelaide, which has previously completed visits to several Pacific nations as well as having participated in Exercise RIMPAC 2018 in Hawaii.
Commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jonathan Earley, recognised the broad capability the Landing Helicopter Dock provides.
“What my crew has effectively demonstrated is that Adelaide can be used as a ‘sea-base’ to support a variety of key roles in support of our government and our partner nations, simultaneously,” he said.
Australia’s continued military engagement with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, together with broader engagement, reflects the ongoing commitment to supporting regional partners and promoting a secure and prosperous region.
Port Moresby hosted the year-long program of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings throughout 2018, culminating with the Leaders’ Summit from 12-18 November.