New vessel to boost maritime surveillance

March 8, 2024 9:54 am

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has officially received RFNS Puamau, a Naval Vessel aimed at boosting Fiji’s maritime security efforts.

The vessel was handed over to Rabuka by Australian Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy at the HMAS Stirling Naval Base in Perth, Australia.

Rabuka says the vessel will play a huge role in fortifying Fiji’s ability to combat threats such as illegal fishing and transnational organized crime.

Article continues after advertisement

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

He also emphasized on the importance of the Pacific Maritime Security Program, a joint initiative supported by Australia.

During the handover ceremony, Rabuka also drew attention to recent drug raids conducted by the Fiji Police Force and highlighted the program’s effectiveness in addressing unique challenges faced by the region.

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

He called for unity and commitment to peace, emphasizing the “Ocean of Peace” concept as a collective effort requiring collaboration among Fiji, Australia and the Pacific Islands Forum family.

Acknowledging the evolving geostrategic landscape of the Pacific, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude to Australia for its continuous support, stating that the Pacific Maritime Security Program as a model for interoperability and joint initiatives against border-transcending crimes.

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Defence Minister Pat Conroy says that Australia is proud to be Fiji’s security partner of choice.

He emphasizes the tangible demonstration of the Vuvale Partnership through the delivery of the second Guardian-class Patrol Boa.

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Sairusi Colati, the naval vessel, named after the late Able Seaman Timo Puamau is expected to arrive in Fiji next month.

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Puamau lost his life during World War II in the Pacific when a naval vessel he was on was torpedoed in Solomon Island waters.