Old friends reunite in PNG

The intertwining careers of two naval officers from neighbouring countries demonstrates the value of enduring relationships and friendship.

CAPTION: Commanding Officer HMPNGS Cape Gloucester Lieutenant Bryan Pohai, left, reunites with old friend, ADV Reliant Naval Liaison Officer Lieutenant Commander Brenton-James Glover, alongside at Manus Island. Story. by Lieutenant Carolyn Martin. Photo by Corporal Lisa Sherman.

A stores delivery to Manus Island provided a valuable opportunity for old friends and colleagues, ADV Reliant’s Navy Liaison Officer Lieutenant Commander Brenton-James Glover, and Commanding Officer HMPNGS Cape Gloucester Lieutenant Bryan Pohai to reunite.

The pair first metin 2016 when Lieutenant Commander Glover was posted to Papua New Guinea (PNG) as the Commanding Officer of HMPNGS Lakekamu – Lieutenant Pohai was his Executive Officer.

Together over the course of two years they supported the PNG Defence Force and the people of PNG through operations and disaster responses.

Lieutenant Pohai said they were excited to work together again.

“Together BJ and I worked on Operation Kadova Assist to evacuate and relocate more than 500 people from the erupting Kadova Island volcano,” Lieutenant Pohai said.

“On Operation Lukatim Kibung we provided support to the maritime security architecture for APEC18 in Port Moresby.”

Lieutenant Commander Glover’s role was part of Navy’s training and mentoring efforts following the gifting of the Landing Craft Heavy.

“We’ve definitely been through some good times and some bad times. But overall it’s the commitment that Bryan has shown to the role, I think that really helped me when we were working together here in Papua New Guinea,” Lieutenant Commander Glover said.

Lakekamu was the workhorse of the PNG Defence Force Maritime Element. In December 2018, I handed command over to a PNG Defence Force officer, after encouraging Bryan to learn as much as he could and ultimately achieve his Command Platform Endorsement.”

Throughout 2019 and 2020, the pair continued to work together while Lieutenant Commander Glover was a Maritime Operations adviser.

“It was really pleasing to watch him grow as an officer in that time,” Lieutenant Commander Glover said.

“In May last year, I was asked to return to PNG and conduct the introduction into service training for the Australian gifted HMPNGS Cape Gloucester.

“When I arrived for the training, it was humbling and exciting to see Bryan as the appointed Commanding Officer with his crew, ready for the week of training and to learn this new ship.”

HMPNGS Cape Gloucester and its crew were essential in the stores delivery to Manus Island – rafting alongside ADV Reliant and receiving the cargo via crane. The cargo was then ferried to the barge ramp.

“For me this task symbolises the mission of Reliant, to work in a collaborative nature alongside our Pacific partners,” Lieutenant Commander Glover said.

“Personally, my relationship with Bryan and how our careers continue to entwine themselves really shows that it is possible to have an idea, and with hard work, watch it succeed to close out an incredible chapter.

“Through dedicated training we can see a bright future for the PNG Defence Force’s amphibious fleet and its personnel.”





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