South Pacific nations agree to new exercise series
3 May 2013
The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, yesterday met senior military leaders from the South Pacific for the second iteration of the South Pacific Defence Chiefs of Defence Force meeting in Nuku’alofa in Tonga. The meeting was held in the margins of the inaugural South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
General Hurley attended the meetings with New Zealand Chief of the Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones; Commander Tonga Defence Services Brigadier General Tau’aika Uta’atu; Commander Papua New Guinea Defence Force Brigadier General Francis Agwi; Commander French Armed Forces in New Caledonia Brigadier General Jean-Francois Parlanti; and Chilean Director Strategic Plans and Operations Air Vice Marshal Rolando Mercado.
Representatives discussed a range of current and future security challenges facing the region and examined avenues where respective defence forces can work cooperatively to ensure the security of the Pacific.
They also discussed regional maritime security challenges, noting Australia’s continued contribution to maritime security, including through the Pacific Patrol Boat Program.
A key outcome of the meeting was the announcement that the Australian Defence Force and other South Pacific militaries will establish a new cooperative framework to coordinate regional exercises. The framework will be known as POVAI ENDEAVOUR.
“As we begin to draw down from our respective operational commitments in the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan we are looking for practical ways to maintain and deepen regional engagement,” General Hurley said.
“This new regional cooperative framework will help to maintain the interoperability we have built up during these multi-national operations.”
The POVAI ENDEAVOUR framework aims to develop and maintain regional skills in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, amphibious operations, and peacekeeping and stabilisation.
General Hurley said the six nations had a common interest in working together to promote security and stability in the Pacific.
“The exercise series will compliment our existing education and joint training programs,” General Hurley said.
The previous South Pacific Chiefs of Defence Meeting was held in Sydney in 2012.
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