Royal Australian Navy (RAN) hydrographic survey vessel, HMAS Leeuwin, arrived in Port Moresby, in late October for a five week surveying task to chart waters in the eastern part of Papua New Guinea.
While in Port Moresby Harbour, Leeuwin’s Commanding Officer, Commander Nic Zillman, hosted several dignitaries of the Papua New Guinean Defence Force and National Maritime Safety Authority.
“This visit is another important step in developing the great partnership we share with our closest neighbours,” Commander Zillman said.
Colonel Dick Parker, Head of the Australian Defence Staff facilitated the meeting with Colonel Siale Diro, Chief of Force Preparation for the Papua New Guinean Defence Force, Commanding Officer of HMPNGS Basilisk, Commander Willie Galia, and Fred Siroi from the National Maritime Safety Authority.
“It is important that the Papua New Guineans are engaged with what we are here to do as maritime safety of the region is a shared responsibility of all mariners,” he said.
The proposed survey mission is of Long Reef and Rossel Island and the guests were briefed by the Hydrographic Survey Department on the surveying capabilities of the ship, RAN wrote.
The crew welcomed two officers of the Papua New Guinean Defence Force Maritime Element to work alongside the Australians, providing local knowledge of the area and to assist with liaison between the ship’s survey teams and the local people.
After leaving Port Moresby, Leeuwin started passage to the east to start sounding and tidal observations. A mid-survey port visit is planned for Alotau in Milne Bay. Leeuwin will return to homeport in Cairns in late November.