RSIPF thank Australian gov’t - Solomon Star News

RSIPF thank Australian gov’t

15 June 2018
Senator Payne chats to two RSIPF officers onboard Patrol Boat Lata. [Photo Supplied]

THE Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has thanked the Government of Australia for the continuing assistance under the Australian Defence Cooperation Program to the maintenance of security in Solomon Islands.

RSIPF Commissioner, Matthew Varley expressed the sentiments when he and members of his Executive met with the Australian Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne at the Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara yesterday.

Minister Payne visited the Police Memorial Park where she laid wreaths to recognise the 84 Australian servicemen who lost their lives on HMAS Canberra in 1942 and also for PTE Jamie Clark who died whilst serving in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands on 10 March 2005.

Senator Payne also visited the RSIPF Maritime Division where she was taken on board the RSIPFV Lata to be briefed on the recent operations which the Australian funded patrol boat was involved in when patrolling Solomon Islands Maritime border.  

“With Solomon Islands’ large maritime border and the presence of unexploded ordnances from the Second World War, the RSIPF is thankful to the continuing assistance under the Australian Defence Program especially the supply and maintenance of patrol boats in the Maritime Division,” says Commissioner Varley.

“Furthermore RSIPF greatly appreciates the continuing assistance under the Australian Defence Program for the Force’s Explosive Ordnance Device(EOD) Unit to render safe the WWII unexploded bombs scattered throughout the country,” Mr Varley added.

 “During the meeting with the Australian Defence Minister, she assured RSIPF that Solomon Islands will receive two new patrol boats to replace the two current ones.

“The first one will be delivered at the end of 2019 to replace the patrol boat Lata.

“The second one will be delivered in 2022/2023.”

Commissioner Varley explains: “The new Guardian class of patrol boats will be much larger with increased capacity and extended range compared to the current Pacific class of patrol boats. This will be great especially for patrolling of Solomon Islands large maritime border.”

“In preparation for the new patrols boats, officers of the RSIPF Maritime Division have started training and the Australian Defence Cooperation Program will also be funding an extension to the current wharf at the Aola Base in Honiara,” says Commissioner Varley.

He reveals: “During the meeting with the Australian Defence Force Minister, I also briefed her on the preparations that the RSIPF has started for the National General Elections in 2019 and how Australia could assist in providing security during that time.”