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June 21, 2012
LCDR Dan Crocker
NAVY frigate HMAS Darwin is
being welcomed across the Western
Pacific region while in transit to
the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)
Exercise in Hawaii.
During a port visit to the
Samoan capital Apia from May 31
to June 4, Darwin's ship's company
represented Australia at Samoa's
50th an niversary of independence.
CO Darwin CMDR BJ Schlegel
said Australia and Samoa were
partners in the Pacific.
"Not only do we have a com-
mon interest in maintaining region-
al maritime security for growth
and prosperity, we have strong
people links, which were enhanced
du ring our visit," he said.
On arrival in Apia, a contingent
of the ship's company travelled
to the National Cancer Research
Centre in Moto'otua for a working
bee where the building was sealed
During the visit, Darwin fielded
sporting teams against the Samoan
Kangaroos in a friendly Australian
rules football match, as well as a
game of 20/20 cricket against the
local Wanderers as part of the cel-
The independence march was
the focus of the celebrations when
the ship's company marched with
schools, local gover nment and
Navy regularly works with the
Samoan Police Maritime Wing
as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat
Program, which is a fundamen-
tal aspect of Australia's Defence
Cooperation in the Pacific.
The program contributes to
Samoa's development of a profes-
sional regional maritime sur veil-
lance and policing capability.
Earlier this year, the full-time
Australian maritime surveillance
adviser in Apia played an integral
role in the successful search and
rescue of three locals lost at sea.
Darwin will also conduct port
visits to Tonga and Pearl Harbor
before making her way to RIMPAC
from July 9 to August 2, where
she will be joined by HMAS Perth
and Farncomb before returning to
Darwin to take part in Exercises
Kakadu and Singaroo.
A fu rther patrol of the south-
west Pacific also saw Darwin con-
tribute to maritime surveillance
in the area as part of Operation
Solania, which supports a num-
ber of other operations run by the
Pacific Island Forum Fisheries
Agency to detect and deter illegal,
unregulated and unreported fish-
"Many Pacific islanders rely on
fishing and we can play a vital role
in protecting their livelihoods and
their wider economies," CMDR
Welcome to the Pacific
PACIFIC CELEBRATIONS: HMAS Darwin berths aft of USS
Chafee in Samoa. Inset, ABET Allan Roadknight helps LSET Evan
Palmer unload Darwin's CIWS system.
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