An Armidale Class patrol vessel and a C-27J Spartan have concluded surveillance operations across the Pacific Islands.
Maritime and aerial surveillance missions were conducted as part of Operation Solania — a two-week exercise supporting the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency’s (FFA) Operation Island Chief.
Operation Island Chief is one of four annual FFA maritime surveillance operations, aimed at detecting, deterring, reporting and/or apprehending potential illegal, unregulated or unreported (IUU) fishing activity and vessels.
Australia’s contribution included the deployment of the Royal Australian Navy’s Armidale Class patrol vessel HMAS Glenelg and the Royal Australian Air Force’s C-27J Spartan.
HMAS Glenelg provided maritime surveillance support in Vanuatu ahead of the Vanuatu Police Force’s transition to the Guardian Class patrol boat, RVS Takuare – delivered by Austal on behalf of the Commonwealth government.
Alongside Fijian Guardian Class patrol boat RFNS Savenaca, HMAS Glenelg also supported a joint exercise in the high seas and Fiji’s Economic Exclusive Zone.
Commander of the Australian Army’s 1st Division/Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Major General Jake Ellwood said the ADF helped partners secure and protect fisheries and economic resources across the region.
“The ADF is proud to work with the FFA and with our Pacific partners to promote our collective maritime security. By combining our efforts, we can ensure our maritime environment and the Pacific Ocean is protected now and into the future,” MAJGEN Ellwood said.
“The Pacific is our home. Australia shares a strong and enduring security partnership with our Pacific partners, and we remain committed to working with them to maintain a secure and prosperous region.”
According to Commanding Officer of HMAS Glenelg, Lieutenant Commander Alexander Finnis, the operations resulted in the detection of unauthorised fishing activities throughout the region and provided a credible deterrent against future illegal incursions.
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“Throughout the operation we worked closely with the FFA and Pacific island countries to protect the economic and resource security of our region,” LCDR Finnis said.
Operation Solania is conducted under the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement framework, established in July 1992.
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