A ROYAL Australian Navy Hydrographic Ship HMAS Melville is visiting Honiara for her crew to conduct outreach activities with the community and host a number of functions from 1 to 5 February.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Melville, Lieutenant Commander Dean Battilana, said his crew is looking forward to spending some well-earned time ashore in Honiara following three weeks of survey operations throughout the Southwest Pacific.
“When the Royal Australian Navy is working in the Southwest Pacific, Solomon Islands is seen as a destination of choice for the respite of our Sailors,” Lieutenant Commander Battilana said.
“Solomon Islands have gladly hosted many Australian warships over the years and we are excited to have a chance to visit this wonderful and beautiful country.”
Australian High Commissioner, Roderick Brazier, welcomed HMAS Melville and her crew.
“This sophisticated ship contributes significantly to ensuring the safety and efficiency of sea lanes of communication both in Australian territorial waters and throughout the Pacific,” Brazier said.
“I am particularly pleased to note the role that Australia plays as the Primary Charting Authority for Solomon Islands and the contribution HMAS Melville makes to this vital task.
“I thank Captain Lieutenant Commander Dean Battilana and his crew for their dedication to the task and for their splendid hospitality during this visit.”
Ships such as HMAS Melville play a key role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of shipping in Solomon Islands by enabling Australia’s role as Primary Charting Authority.
Background on HMAS Melville
The Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service operates two LEEUWIN Class Hydrographic Ships from Cairns, Australia. HMAS Melville is the second of her class and conducts hydrographic surveys throughout Australian territorial waters.
She also assists Pacific Island nations to survey their territorial waters when invited to do so.
Survey tasks generally cover large areas adjacent to coastal areas where water depths are generally between 25 and 200 metres and water clarity is high.
HMAS Melville can carry up to three survey motor boats that can conduct survey operations in the vicinity of coastal waters in depths between five and 50 metres.
HMAS Melville and each survey motor boat carry the latest in survey and computerised hydrographic data processing equipment and is fitted with the latest navigation aids.
HMAS Melville can also be used to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief if required.
HMAS Melville has a crew of 48 personnel, a length of 71 metres and can travel at a maximum speed of 14 knots.