HMAS Toowoomba returns from seven-month deployment

September 2, 2018 – HMAS Toowoomba has returned to her homeport of Fleet Base West, Rockingham, Western Australia, after the ship’s longest deployment to date, successfully contributing to seven Task Groups in seven months. Commanding Officer, Commander Mitchell Livingstone, said Toowoomba achieved many milestones since February, supporting an extensive series of exercises, international engagements and training activities. “I’m extremely proud of my ship’s company and the professionalism they displayed over the course of this highly successful deployment,” Commander Livingstone said. “Toowoomba has participated in three exercises, the grueling Principal Warfare…

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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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FS D’Entrecasteaux Rescues Couple in Vanuatu Waters

Google Translation Currently engaged in the Castor mission, the B2M D’Entrecasteaux rescued a couple from drowning during the night of June 12 to 13, 2018. While the ship was wet near the island of Vao to unload the equipment and staff of the Castor mission, the watchman noticed, at 04:30, a person on the B2M’s diving chamber. After having boarded, this person explained that he was sailing with his wife in a pirogue to join Vao and that the bad weather had made them capsize. A search operation was immediately…

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Australian Navy ships in Vanuatu for IPE engagement

Two Royal Australian Navy ships from Joint Task Group 661.1 have arrived in Vanuatu to conduct the first port visit of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018 (IPE18) program. IPE18 is an Australian Defence Force Joint Task Group deployment to the South Pacific, designed to enhance the strong and positive defence partnerships the ADF shares with its regional counterparts, through meaningful engagement, dialogue and training activities. On Wednesday, HMAS Success completed officer of the watch maneuvers with the Vanuatu Police Force vessel RVS Tokuro before the Pacific Patrol Boat led the Australian…

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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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Navy provides assistance in Vanuatu

The Australian Defence Force deployed humanitarian supplies in September to provide relief to communities displaced from Vanuatu’s Ambae Island with the island’s Manaro Volcano threatening to erupt. Thousands of people have now been evacuated from the island, with about 8,000 taken to the island of Espiritu Santo, and about 3,000 more taken to the nearby islands of Pentecost and Maewo. Australian Defence Force and AUSAID personnel have been delivering much needed humanitarian supplies. Tents for temporary shelter, kitchen supplies and lighting are providing relief to families and improving community safety.…

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NZDF Surveys Erupting Vanuatu Volcano

A New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) aerial survey found huge columns of smoke, ash and volcanic rocks billowing from the crater of an erupting volcano on Vanuatu’s Ambae Island. Group Captain Nick Olney, the Acting Air Component Commander, said imagery of Monaro volcano would help Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office determine if a large eruption was imminent. “We are pleased that we are able to help Vanuatu authorities with our Orion and our highly skilled crew,” Group Captain Olney said. “The NZDF always stands ready to support our Pacific neighbors,…

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USS Rushmore visits Vanuatu during OMSI mission

USS Rushmore (LSD 47), with embarked U.S. Coast Guard maritime law enforcement personnel, anchored off the coast of Vanuatu for a scheduled port visit, Sept. 15. During the visit, the crew provided tours of the ship, allowing visitors the opportunity to see and experience life aboard a U.S. Navy warship. “We value our partnership with the countries in the South Pacific and are committed to assisting them in enhancing maritime security and keeping the sea lanes open for the benefit of all,” said Rushmore’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. John Ryan. “This…

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Pacific protection paramount in counter proliferation

The Australian Government is joining forces with countries from around the world to conduct Exercise PACIFIC PROTECTOR, as part of an ongoing major international commitment to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials. The exercise will be held in Cairns, Queensland from 6–9 September 2017 as part of the Proliferation Security Initiative, which is an effort by 105 partner countries to build networks, tools and capabilities to counter illicit weapons of mass destruction-related trade across the globe. Participants will take part in academic sessions, a table top…

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