Australian Army personnel are training members of the Vanuatu Police Force in the use of high-frequency radios at Port Vila.

Signallers from Brisbane’s 1st Signals Regiment and 7th Combat Signals Regiment are conducting the training, which is a vital part of the Vanuatu Government National Emergency Radio Network project.

Delivered by the ADF and Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) over a three-year period, the project is increasing Vanuatu’s disaster preparedness and response capability.

Australian high-frequency radios are becoming standard issue within the VPF.

After the radio training, the members of the VPF will be able to support an enhanced police presence across the Vanuatu archipelago when the need arises.

Lance Corporal Ryan Davies has been involved in the high-frequency radio training.

He said once the VPF personnel were proficient with the technology, they would have an enhanced ability to communicate with regional island communities if a natural disaster was to strike. 

“All the training has been centred around humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, enabling the VPF to use the radios if they’re given a disaster-relief task,” Lance Corporal Davies said.  

“This kind of radio is ideal in a communication-deficient environment, like if a cyclone hits and mobile phone towers go down.

“If something happens, they’ll [VPF] still have the infrastructure to be able to communicate with each other.”

Lance Corporal Davies said his deployment to Vanuatu was more than just delivering training, as he was already learning from his VPF partners. 

“Working with organisations from another country is really enjoyable,” he said. 

“Everyone has had great enthusiasm in the training.

“Everyone was jumping to answer questions and get involved – there’s been plenty of jokes

“It’s been great getting to know them [VPF].

“The VPF are really friendly and have made me feel welcome here in Port Villa.” 

Australian Army signallers will continue training and upgrading the Vanuatu Government National Emergency Radio Network with the VPF over the next few months.

More photos can be viewed on the Defence image gallery.