17 March 2023
A member of the Vanuatu Police Force has taken advantage of HMAS Canberra's presence in his country, taking part in training with the ship’s landing craft.
Maritime Senior Inspector and Executive Officer Gary Aru joined the ship in Port Vila, where it has been moving humanitarian supplies and engineering personnel at the request of the Vanuatu Government.
He said the maritime wing was looking at procuring its own landing craft, so gaining early experience on board Canberra was a great opportunity.
“I will spend my time with the ship’s dock team and learn as much as I can for when we do obtain our own landing craft,” Senior Inspector Aru said.
The senior inspector is no stranger when it comes to training with Australians and the ADF.
He was part of the commissioning crew and executive officer when the country’s Guardian-class patrol boat sailed from HMAS Cairns in North Queensland to Vanuatu in 2021.
He also completed seamanship, navigation and executive officer courses at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania.
Canberra is providing ADF support to Vanuatu in the wake of Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin, arriving as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-led, whole-of-government response.