Australia Trains Tonga Armed Forces

December 1, 2019 – The ship’s company of the Leeuwin-class survey ship HMAS Melville provided assistance to the maritime branch of His Majesty’s Armed Forces of Tonga during a recent task group visit to Nuku’alofa. The task group, which includes HMA Ships Adelaide and Larrakia, is part of Australia’s Pacific Step-up and enduring Defence Cooperation Program. Tongan Naval Hydrographic Surveyor…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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