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Training Assists Fijian Navy Officers, Enhancing Skills

The MLE training was conduct­ed by the Royal Australian Navy’s Sea Training Unit under their Defense Cooperation Programme held at the RFNS Stanley Brown Base in Walu Bay last week.
13 Mar 2019 18:40
Training Assists Fijian Navy Officers, Enhancing Skills
Republic of Fiji Navy boarding officers during the Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) training with trainers from the Royal Australian Navy Sea Training Unit.

Republic of Fiji Navy (RFN) boarding officers are now better equipped for their jobs following the weeklong Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) training out at sea.

The MLE training was conduct­ed by the Royal Australian Navy’s Sea Training Unit under their Defense Cooperation Programme held at the RFNS Stanley Brown Base in Walu Bay last week.

The training has assisted offic­ers to learn, recognise and un­derstand requirements set by the Western and Central Pacific Fish­eries Commission, other mari­time security and border protec­tion operations in cooperation with police, customs and the im­migration department.

Twenty-five newly recruited navy personnel were part of the weeklong training.

Fiji Navy operations officer Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Timoci Natuva commented on how training had assisted newly recruited personnel enhance their knowledge and maintain the standard of service provided by RFN.

“It is a training that will prepare our officers to conduct boarding operations, if they are required to use force, how will they go about it and understanding its proce­dures, and having the knowledge about maritime laws and fisheries act,” said Lieutenant Commander Natuva.

The boarding parties were first taught theory work and were later taken out to sea for practical work onboard the Pacific Class Patrol Boats, RFNS Kula and Kikau.

“This training will qualify newly recruited personnel’s to be al­lowed to conduct boarding at sea when inspecting vessels that come into our waters,” he said.

“Fiji Navy will continue to con­duct similar trainings to enhance our capability and capacity to conduct maritime law enforce­ments out at sea and looking af­ter our boarders and waters,” he said.

The RFN operate two Pacific Pa­trol Boats, which have provided a significant contribution to Fiji’s maritime security over the past 25 years.

These vessels RFNS Kula and Kikau were gifted to Fiji through Australia’s Pacific Patrol Boat programme and will be replaced in coming years by larger, more capable Guardian-class Patrol Boats through the Pacific Mari­time Security Programme.

The RFN will receive its first Guardian-class Patrol Boat in early 2020.

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