In the latest milestone for the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Australia has delivered a new Guardian-class patrol boat to Kiribati.
RKS Teanoai II is the 11th vessel to be delivered across the Pacific under the program.
Alongside Honorary Consul General for Kiribati Paul Wenham, Commanding Officer Superintendent Tom Redfern accepted RKS Teanoai II on June 18 on behalf of the Government of Kiribati in a ceremony at Henderson, Western Australia.
Navy’s Head Maritime Systems Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said the new Guardian-class patrol boat symbolised the strong and historical bonds between Australia and Kiribati.
“Australia and Kiribati have long been partners and friends, and RKS Teanoai II is a tangible demonstration of our shared commitment to a sovereign, secure and prosperous Pacific,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said.
Australia recognises the specific challenges faced by the Pacific’s big ocean states in policing their massive exclusive economic zones.
“Kiribati has a proud history of seafaring and an exceptional police maritime unit crewing the RKS Teanoai II,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said.
“This new asset will further strengthen our maritime security partnership and our collective effort to protect our shared maritime domain.”
Rear Admiral Malcolm said Australian industry was delivering world-class maritime capability to Australia’s Pacific partners.
“We are committed to providing high-quality assets and a best-practice package of training and maintenance support for the life of the Guardian-class patrol boat fleet,” she said.
“This project is making an essential contribution to regional security and strengthening Australian industry.
“Production of the vessels delivers 400 direct and indirect jobs, and is a significant contributor to resource and production chains.”
Under the Pacific Maritime Security Program, 21 Guardian-class patrol boats will be delivered across 12 Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste.