Australian warship completes successful Samoa visit

Tag rugby competitors and supporters – including the crew of the HMAS Success, staff from the New Zealand High Commission and the Taufusi Warriors and NRL in Samoa tag rugby teams. Picture: SAMOA OBSERVER

APIA, 21 JUNE 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success has enjoyed a deeply meaningful port visit to Apia, with the ship’s company spending the past four days conducting training and engagement activities with the Samoa Police Service and rolling up their sleeves to assist with community projects.

On Friday, female sailors and officers from HMAS Success, the Samoa Police Service and the Australian Federal Police participated in a Women’s Leadership Forum.

Australian sailors and officers also conducted maritime boarding and damage control training with the Samoa Police Service Maritime Wing and helped conduct maintenance work on the Samoa Patrol Boat Nafanua.

Volunteers from the Ship’s Company helped with gardening and yard clean-up work at the site of the Samoa Family Health Association Youth Drop-in Centre, which is currently undergoing a major expansion funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

They also helped with painting work at the Mapuifagalele Haven for Elders.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Success, Commander Grant Zilko said the ship’s company was warmly welcomed by their Samoan counterparts and the local community.

“This visit was tremendously meaningful and I believe the friendships we have made over the past four days in Samoa will be enduring ones,” Commander Zilko said.

“We had the immense pleasure of hosting Samoan Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on board, and appreciate the time she spent meeting my sailors and officers.”

“We also witnessed some outstanding skill from local Samoan tag football teams and shared our mutual love of sport by participating in a friendly, but hotly-contested tournament.”

“Importantly, we also conducted some extremely important training and engagements with our friends in the Samoa Police Service, who are skilful and resourceful sailors,” Commander Zilko said.

The Commanding Officer said the ship’s visit to Samoa was a resounding success.

“It’s very clear after watching my ship’s company working and interacting with our counterparts in the Samoan Police Service and the people of Apia that there are a lot of commonalities in our values and cultures that make us natural partners and friends,” Commander Zilko said.

“I want to thank the people of Samoa for being such warm and gracious hosts,” he said.

HMAS Success is now on her way to Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

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