Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price will officially hand over the latest Guardian Class patrol boat on behalf of the Commonwealth government to the Republic of Palau, as the government’s Pacific Step Up program continues to progress.
Minister Price will preside over a ceremony to handover the new Austal-built Guardian Class patrol boat PSS President H.I. Remeliik II to the Republic of Palau.
She will be joined by head maritime systems, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, for the gifting of the seventh Guardian Class patrol boat to Palau's Division of Maritime Law Enforcement.
The Republic of Palau will be represented by Lieutenant Commander Nobuo, chief officer of Palau's Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and commanding officer of PSS President H.I. Remeliik II.
The handover ceremony will take place later this morning in Austal’s headquarters in Henderson Western Australia.
This follows the handover of the first of two Guardian Class patrol boats to Fiji in March, and the handover of a vessel to the Kingdom of Toga in June 2019.
The delivery of the vessels is part of the federal government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP), aimed at enhancing practical maritime security co-operation across the south Pacific.
The Guardian Class patrol boats are designed to enable nations across the Asia-Pacific region to respond to fisheries protection, trans-national crime, and search and rescue operations.
The Commonwealth government is expected to handover 21 vessels to 12 Pacific island nations and Timor Leste up until 2023.