Perth, Australia- The Samoa Police Prisons and Corrections Services (SPPCS) today celebrated another milestone with the official handover of the Guardian Class Patrol Boat the Nafanua III from the government of Australia. The event was attended by Honorable Minister Faualo Harry Schuster on behalf of the government of Samoa, Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo and Executive members Assistant Commissioner Leausalilō Norman Meni, and ACEO Naomi Claire Harris.
Delivering his keynote address, Minister Faualo Harry Schuster emphasized the importance of Samoa Police receiving the Guardian Class Patrol Boat.
“This handover ceremony of the vessel represents a significant step forward in Samoa’s maritime security capabilities and underscores Australia’s commitment to strengthening maritime security in the Pacific region”, said Minister Faualo.
He further stated, that the handover “solidifies the strong partnership between Australia and Samoa, demonstrating their shared interest in safeguarding regional security and prosperity as highlighted in the ‘Boe Declaration’.
The Guardian Class Patrol Boat, Nafanua III, is a state-of-the-art vessel that will greatly enhance Samoa’s ability to safeguard its territorial waters and protect its citizens from maritime security threats. With its advanced capabilities and cutting-edge technology, the Nafanua III will play a crucial role in maintaining law and order at sea and deterring illegal activities.
Minister Faualo expressed gratitude to the government of Australia for its continuous support for Samoa’s security efforts. This assistance demonstrates Australia’s commitment to regional stability, cooperation, and security.
In addition to expressing his gratitude, Minister Faualo also apologized on behalf of the Samoan government for grounding the Nafanua II patrol boat in 2021.
“While in this regard, we respectfully wish to take this opportunity to apologize to the Australian Government for this shortcoming”, expressed the Minister.
The Samoa Police, Prisons & Corrections Services acknowledges the Australian Government’s continued support and assistance during the absence of a patrol boat. We appreciate the commitment and dedication shown by the Australian Government in helping us secure our maritime borders and protect national interests.
The gifting of the Nafanua III has not only provided our maritime law enforcement unit with a much-needed asset but also demonstrated Australia’s commitment to regional security and cooperation. It is through the continued support of like-minded partners like Australia that we can ensure the security and well-being of our island nation.
The ceremony was presided over by the Honourable Member of Parliament Ms. Tania Lawrence from the government of Australia, and the Honourable Minister Faualo Harry Schuster from the Samoan government.
The signing ceremony marked the culmination of months of meticulous planning and cooperation between the Australian Government and the Samoan government. The event was witnessed by Chief Executive Officer of Austal Ltd Mr. Patrick Gregg, Senior Representatives from participating departments and agencies of the Australian Government, members of the Samoan community, and our local maritime officers who will be responsible for bringing the vessel home.
The ceremony concluded with the official signing of the handover documents, marking the transfer of ownership of the Nafanua Guardian Class Patrol Boat from the Australian to Samoan government. The Nafanua Guardian Class Patrol Boat is expected to arrive in Samoa on the 20th of January 2024.