The Government of Samoa commission new police patrol boat, Nafanuu II, at an official ceremony held today at the Matautu-Tai wharf in Apia.
The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi conveyed the Governments appreciation to Australia’s continuous contribution to the development of Samoa.
The Prime Minister expressed the significant importance of the new patrol vessel in protecting Samoa and the region against growing illegal activities.
“The welcoming of the new ST$30 million tala “Guardian-class patrol boat – Nafanua II” is essential to the protection of our blue Pacific. Blue Pacific, a sentiment that not only, us here in Samoa but also the Pacific holds dearly, because the Pacific Ocean is a place we call home. We must be vigilant in the protection of our oceans, our borders and our people from external threats such as illegal fishing and transnational crimes”, the influential leader said.
“As such, the Samoan Government values Australia’s ongoing contribution in the Pacific region and especially to Samoa. This is just one of the many assistance that the Government of Australia has contributed to the Samoan Government”, says Hon. Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister further added that the crew of the new vessel should make most of the opportunities presented through trainings and skills gain from its counterparts to protect Samoa and the region.
The Australian industry with the Austal support team – will provide ongoing technical, logistical and engineering support for the vessel.
“Nafanua II will provide opportunities for the Samoa Police Service through the Maritime Wing in enhancing the various capacities and expertise to the crew in detecting, disrupting and preventing criminal activities from operating in the Pacific – especially in our Exclusive Economic Zones”, the Prime Minister says.
“I challenge the Nafanua crew to utilize the skills and trainings gain from your Australian counterparts in order to protect our country and our region”,
“Be fully committed to annual regional operations that Nafanua II is actively involved in, not only to learn and foster networking but importantly to prevent the influx of such unwanted intended crimes from reaching the shores of Samoa”.
“It is my hope that the partnership between the Samoan Government and the Government of Australia will continue to remain firm and grow even greater in years to come”.
The new Guardian-class patrol boat, Nafanua II is part of a AUD$2 billion Pacific Maritime Security Programme; enhancing Pacific Island countries’ capacity to effectively collect, analyse, manage, and share maritime security information – internally, with neighbours, and with the region.
The new vessel is equipped with advanced capabilities, particularly in the areas of range, endurance at sea, seakeeping and crew facilities.
It will serve Samoa and the Blue Pacific region for the next 25 years, which means, in an increasingly challenging environment, Samoa can continue to patrol and secure its maritime borders.
The Blue Pacific is the world’s largest oceanic continent, made up of Pacific island countries and territories engaged in innovative and unique initiatives that show leadership toward strong regional ocean governance and, sustainable management and conservation of the ocean and its resources.