Australian Defence Force personnel have deployed on HMAS Choules for a month-long activity of engagement and training with their regional partners and other government agencies in the Southwest Pacific.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Choules, Commander Scott Houlihan, said the deployment provides an opportunity to contribute to long-standing relationships and enduring engagement with Pacific island nations.
“The HMAS Choules deployment to Port Moresby and Manus Province in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu is part of a continued Australian presence in the region,” Commander Houlihan said.
“Papua New Guinea is the first stop and highlights our ongoing contribution to the Pacific following a recent visit by HMAS Wollongong, an Armidale Class Patrol Boat, and the commissioning of the first Guardian-class Patrol Boat HMPNGS Ted Diro.
“We welcome the opportunity to build on these activities by strengthening ties with our Papua New Guinea Defence Force colleagues.”
The next port visit will be to Lombrum Naval Base HMPNGS Tarangau, Manus Province, in late February.
HMAS Choules is an amphibious landing ship capable of carrying over 300 troops and operating Navy helicopters as well as transporting landing forces equipment to shore. She was commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy in December 2011.