New vessel protects Samoan waters

Department of Defence

Australia’s Samoan friends received the newest Guardian-class patrol boat SPB Nafanua III during a ceremony on November 22.

Samoan Minister for Police and Prisons Faualo Harry Jeffrey Schuster accepted Nafanua III on behalf of the Government of Samoa during the handover at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.

“This handover ceremony of the vessel represents a significant step forward in Samoa’s maritime security capabilities and underscores Australia’s commitment to maritime security in the Pacific region,” he said.

Member for Hasluck Tania Lawrence represented Defence Minister Richard Marles.

“The ability to protect our oceans, ensuring they benefit Pacific people, is at the heart of our shared vision for a stable, prosperous and environmentally sustainable region,” Ms Lawrence said.

“This boat will help protect the incredible marine biodiversity of Samoan waters – already vulnerable to climate change and from illegal fishing.”

Nafanua III will complement existing efforts by Samoa’s Police Maritime Wing (PMW) as it undertakes maritime security and surveillance activities, with an eye to tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and transnational crime within their sovereign waters.

The vessel can also support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

In addition to the provision of and ongoing support to Nafanua III, Defence’s relationship with the PMW also includes a focused program of training and infrastructure support.

Australia’s Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond recently opened comprehensive upgrades to the PMW Headquarters alongside Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo.

The refreshed facility will be ready to support Nafanua III when it arrives in Samoa next year.

The Pacific Maritime Security Program is Australia’s 30-year commitment to Pacific partners, and builds off the success of the original Pacific Patrol Boat Program.

Nafanua III is the 18th vessel delivered under the program, and represents decades of engagement with Samoa in support of a stable, prosperous and environmentally sustainable region.

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