The Australian Defence Force has completed a key engagement activity in Samoa as part of its ongoing commitment to deepen relationships in the region.

About 100 ADF personnel, including the vessel HMAS Sirius, deployed to Samoa from June 25 to July 4, as part of the Pacific Support Force, conducting activities to support peace, security and sovereignty.

Commander of the Pacific Support Force, Lieutenant Colonel Will Harvey, said the visit built on recent regional engagements in Tonga and Tuvalu and a long history of cooperation with Samoa.

“The Pacific Support Force conducted a number of activities during its deployment to Samoa including the Australian Army Band forging a strong relationship with the Royal Samoa Police Band,” Lieutenant Colonel Harvey said.

“HMAS Sirius’ crew has also lent a helping hand to the establishment of the athletes’ village for the upcoming Pacific Games.”

Commanding Officer of HMAS Sirius, Commander Melanie Verho, also hosted a Women, Peace and Security meeting, attended by women from the local community.

“It was a great opportunity to exchange experiences with the local community and discuss our shared understanding of the Women in Peace and Security program,” Commander Verho said.  

“The connections we have established will serve us well into the future.”

Musicians from the Australian Army Band conducted a joint parade with the Royal Samoa Police Band and music workshops during their time together.

The contingent also engaged with a number of officials including the Commissioner of the Royal Samoa Police Force to identify ongoing training and engagement opportunities.

As part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Samoa is set to receive a new Guardian-class patrol boat in October and ongoing infrastructure, training and maintenance assistance.

The Pacific Support Force will continue to engage with Pacific nations as part of the enhanced regional engagement activities through the remainder of the year.