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HMAF to receive new patrol boat from Australia in June

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 05/03/2019

His Majesty’s Armed Forces will receive a new patrol boat from Australia later this year. The Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier Lord Fielakepa was in Australia last week to inspect the first of two new patrol boats that are gifted to HMAF.

This is part of Australia’s $2 billion Pacific Maritime Security Program for the region over the next 30 years.

In a press release from the Australian High Commission, the vessel, named Ngahau Koula (Golden Arrow), is being built by Australian shipbuilders Austal and will be handed over in June.

Following this handover, the assigned HMAF staff will receive several weeks of training, before the vessel is sailed back to Tonga in August.

During his last trip, Brigadier Fielakepa also visited the 7th Brigade of the Australian Army in Brisbane. The Australian Army has a longstanding relationship with HMAF which will be strengthened this year as the Queensland Mounted Infantry’s mobile training teams will head to Tonga to provide leadership and development training.

© Radio and Television Tonga News