PNG’s Pacific Patrol Boat crew get sea legs

One week after being handed over from shipbuilder Austal to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Nuship Ted Diro passed its initial sea readiness evaluation under the watchful eye of the Australian Defence Cooperation Program Sea Training Unit.

CAPTIONBridge crew of the Nuship Ted Diro (P401) begin sea-readiness evaluations under the supervision of the Royal Australian Navy Sea Training Group before leaving HMAS Stirling in Western Australia for PNG. Photo by Able Seaman Christopher Szumlanski.

Ted Diro’s ship’s company was put through a rigorous training program that culminated in a whole-ship evaluation before sailing for Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea via Darwin.

The training specifically focussed on mariner skills to ensure the ship’s company could navigate their ship, work the ship’s systems correctly, and operate all of the sub-functions that the ship needs to safely complete the long voyage back to Papua New Guinea.



PNG Defence Force Maritime Element Commander Sebastian Marru said the training he observed was excellent.

“So far, the results have been very successful”, he said.

“It will be a big boost to our operational capabilities.”

The ship is named after Edward Ramu ‘Ted’ Diro, and Australian-trained Army officer who became the first Papua New Guinean major in the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment. He later served a long and chequered career as a politician.

The Australian government signed a contract with Austal Ships Pty Ltd on 5 May 2016 to build and sustain up to 21 steel-hulled vessels to replace the existing fleet of Pacific Patrol Boats as part of Australia’s new Pacific Maritime Security Program.







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Brian Hartigan

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