March 5, 2019 – HMAS Choules arrived in Honiara today for a three-day visit to train with, and deliver stores for, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) in advance of the national general elections in April.
Australian Defence Force personnel from all Services have deployed on HMAS Choules for a month-long activity to undertake engagement and training with our regional partners and other government agencies in the Southwest Pacific.
The Commander of the Joint Task Group, Commander Phillipa Hay, said the deployment provides an opportunity to contribute to long-standing relationships and enduring engagement with Pacific island nations.
“The task group and I are pleased to visit Solomon Islands while working in the Southwest Pacific and this visit highlights our ongoing contribution following a recent community outreach visit by the hydrographic ship HMAS Melville,” Commander Hay said.
“We welcome the opportunity to build on these activities by strengthening ties with our Solomon Islands partners through maritime and land-based training, and support to the RSIPF in preparation for the upcoming elections.
“The program of training will be complemented by our sailors’ community outreach and padres’ church engagement.”
The HMAS Choules deployment to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu is part of a continued Australian presence in the region. Next week, HMAS Choules will visit Port Vila, Vanuatu.
At the request of the Government of the Solomon Islands, Australian Defence Force personnel are providing logistic training to the RSIPF in support of their upcoming general election.