Joint media release:
- Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
- Assistant Defence Minister & Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Alex Hawke MP
Australia is stepping up in the Pacific and continuing to deepen our engagement with our regional partners during COVID-19 with the handover of a new Guardian-class Patrol Boat to the Republic of Palau.
The vessel, PSS President HI Remeliik II, was received by Palauan Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Emerson Nobuo at a COVID-safe ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia, celebrating the latest milestone under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the new Guardian-class Patrol Boat demonstrates Australia’s enduring partnership with Palau and our shared commitment to regional maritime security.
“Australia and Palau have worked closely to prepare for the delivery of the new vessel, which represents a significant boost to Palau’s maritime capability and to the region’s maritime security,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Our ability to unite to advance shared goals in this challenging COVID-19 environment is a testament to the strength of our partnership.
“The crew’s commitment to the training program with our Navy personnel and our industry partners at Austal has been exceptional, and we are proud to host them here in Australia.”
Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Alex Hawke MP said the Guardian-class Patrol Boats make an important contribution to regional security.
“The Palau vessel is the seventh Guardian-class Patrol Boat delivered to our Pacific partners under the Pacific Maritime Security Program,” Minister Hawke said.
“This Program, which is the successor to the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, proudly continues a 60 year commitment to the Pacific and to regional maritime security.”
Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price said she was pleased to represent the Australian Government at today’s handover to see how the Pacific Maritime Security Program also supported Australia’s defence industry.
“Construction of the patrol boats in Perth demonstrates that manufacturing is alive and well in Australia, with work at Austal Australia supporting some 400 direct and indirect local jobs,” Minister Price said.
“Defence industry projects like this one are a great jobs success story and provides a reminder of the importance of the role that such companies play in supporting both our economy and defence capability.”