Australian Warship Joins SW Pacific Exercises

By George Backwell
Monday, June 30, 2014
HMS Parramatta approaching Noumea: Photo RAN

The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Parramatta has completed its visit to Noumea, New Caledonia, before commencing a patrol as part of Operation SOLANIA, informs the Australia Government

The ANZAC Class Frigate has left Noumea after spending three days strengthening relationships with the French Armed Forces New Caledonia (FANC) and promoting multilateral security cooperation.

Commanding Officer of Parramatta, Commander Simon Cannell, said the visit provided professional insight to enhance operations and exercises within the region.

“France is a valuable partner with Australia in the Pacific. We regularly participate in combined force training exercises for emergency and disaster relief and operations against illegal fishing,” Commander Cannell said. “While in Noumea, we conducted a cultural exchange and took part in joint maritime patrols with French Navy Ship Vendémaire, which visited Australia for the 2013 International Fleet Review.”

Following the visit, Parramatta will commence an Operation SOLANIA patrol, continuing the Australian Defence Force’s enduring role in the South-West Pacific.

“Operation SOLANIA is a continuing maritime surveillance operation which supports Pacific island states in their enforcement of fisheries law within their Exclusive Economic Zones,” Commander Cannell said. “Supporting Pacific island states to protect their own fisheries and natural resources fosters economic development, prosperity and stability. A secure, stable and cohesive South Pacific region is in Australia’s strategic interests.”

Royal Australian Navy vessels operating in the South Pacific region have been tasked as part of the Operation SOLANIA since 2009.

HMAS Parramatta is currently on a four week South-West Pacific deployment. The deployment aims to strengthen relationships and security cooperation with Pacific island nations and includes visits to Port Vila and Honiara.
 

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