Regional Ties Strengthened As Exercise Kakadu Wraps Up In the Top End

September 13, 2018 – Exercise KAKADU 2018, Australia’s largest multilateral maritime and air exercise, drew to a close in Darwin today, after a fortnight of activities aimed at enhancing regional maritime security. Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said KAKADU was a military highpoint for Australia as well as a significant diplomatic achievement, with this year’s exercise involving 23 ships, 21 aircraft, a submarine and 3000 personnel from 27 visiting nations. “The size and success of KAKADU is evidence of Australia’s growing reputation as a trusted and capable…

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Chinese naval hospital ship leaves Tonga for Central and South America

August 21, 2018 – The Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark (Hull 866), which is on the “Harmonious Mission 2018”, left the Port of Nukualofa, Tonga at around 10 a.m. on August 20, after completing an eight-day friendly visit and humanitarian medical service there.During the visit, medical personnel of the Peace Ark provided diagnosis and treatment for 5,532 persons and auxiliary examinations for 2,598 persons, with 13 inpatients and 14 cases of surgery. The Tongan side hosted a warm farewell ceremony for the Peace Ark at the port, which was…

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Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2018 concludes

The world’s largest international maritime exercise concluded Aug. 2 following more than a month of training events conducted in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. Twenty-five nations, 46 surface ships, five submarines, 17 land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in Rim of the Pacific exercise 2018. This year’s RIMPAC iteration marked the 26th in the series that began in 1971 and is now held every two years. Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2018 was led by U.S. Vice Adm. John D. Alexander,…

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PLA Navy’s hospital ship Peace Ark sets sail for “Harmonious Mission 2018”

The PLA Navy’s hospital ship Peace Ark (Hull 866) set sail from its homeport in Zhoushan in east China’s Zhejiang Province on Thursday morning to embark on the voyage of “Harmonious Mission 2018”. It is the Peace Ark’s 7th “Harmonious Mission”, which will bring the ship to more than ten countries, including Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Columbia, Venezuela, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic and Ecuador, to provide humanitarian medical services. Upon invitation of the Chilean Navy, the Chinese naval hospital ship will also have a stop…

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US Navy Kicks Off 26th RIMPAC Exercise

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. John C. Aquilino and Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Vice Adm. John D. Alexander announced June 29th the start of the world’s largest international maritime exercise, the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), scheduled through Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. Twenty-five nations, more than 45 surface ships and submarines, 17 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are taking part in a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to…

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US Navy Announces 26th RIMPAC Exercise

Twenty-six nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 27 to Aug. 2, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the…

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New Zealand hosts conventional weapons conference

New Zealand is hosting 14 Pacific countries at the Pacific Conference on Conventional Weapons Treaties in Auckland from 12 to 14 February. New Zealand’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, formally welcomed delegates to the Conference with a reception in Auckland. “The Conference provides an opportunity to reinforce the importance our region places on enhancing human security and protecting our peoples from harm,” said Mr Tabuteau. “It further reaffirms the role that the Pacific can play in protecting and strengthening global norms and in advancing the scope and span…

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Forging ties in Tonga

Since the 1960s, Australia has undertaken a range of capacity-building and engagement activities in the South Pacific and South East Asia under the Defence Cooperation Program. The centrepiece of Australia’s defence engagement in the South Pacific is the Pacific Patrol Boat Program. Lieutenant Commander Paul Ryan has been presiding over significant improvements in Tonga’s Masefield Navy Base, As well as carrying out his usual duties as a maritime surveillance adviser. Lieutenant Commander Ryan, who has been in Tonga for eight months, said the improvements were being carried out to support…

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