The ship’s company of HMAS Glenelg shared an unforgettable experience with one of Australia’s closest regional partners on July 30.

The crew of the Armidale-class patrol boat had a front-row seat to the Vanuatu Independence Day celebrations at Port Vila while the ship was at anchor in the harbour.

The celebrations marked the end of colonial rule by Britain and France in 1980.

Commanding Officer Glenelg Lieutenant Commander Alex Finnis said the event provided a chance for the ship’s company to immerse themselves in local culture – albeit from the ship – and further demonstrated Australia’s enduring commitment to its partners in the Indo-Pacific.

“It was a great opportunity for our Navy people to experience an important day in Vanuatu, giving them a tangible insight into the importance of our engagement in the South-West Pacific,” Lieutenant Commander Finnis said.

Glenelg was deployed on Operation Solania, which is the ADF contribution to Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency’s (FFA) Operation Island Chief.

The ADF supports the FFA in detecting, deterring, reporting and/or apprehending potential illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing activity.

Throughout her deployment, Glenelg operated within Australian and international COVID-19 guidelines, which included contactless port visits in Vanuatu.