Australian Navy ship sets sail for exercise Paradise

Royal Australian Navy’s Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Wollongong set sail for Port Moresby this month to take part in Exercise Paradise off Papua New Guinea.

The annual event aimed at strengthening ties between the Royal Australian and Papua New Guinean navies.

Commanding Officer of the patrol boat, Lieutenant Commander Scott Wilson, said Australia’s closest neighbor was an important partner in maintaining regional security.

“Any opportunity to conduct training and enhance interoperability will contribute to continued stability in our region,” Wilson said.

Members of the Australian Navy’s in-house training and assessment team, Sea Training Group, will travel with Wollongong to support the crews from both countries.

Skills taught over the week-long exercise will include tactical communications, surveillance, force protection, seamanship, navigation, boarding operations and gunnery.

Wollongong Executive Officer, Lieutenant Mark Doggett, said his crew and boat were well prepared.

“The new single crewing construct on Armidale boats has allowed the crew to prepare for the exercise without the complication of having to change platforms,” Lieutenant Doggett said.
“As a result, Wollongong proceeds to the exercise in the best possible shape.”

HMAS Wollongong entered service in 2007 and, along with her 13 sister boats, is the Royal Australian Navy’s principal contribution to the nation’s fisheries protection, immigration, customs and drug law enforcement operations.