Maritime mentor makes a difference in Vanuatu

Mentoring comes naturally to Naval Police coxswain Petty Officer Gary McIntosh, who is using his ability to make a difference during his posting with the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF).

CAPTIONRoyal Australian Navy Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Gary McIntosh is a miltary advisor and mentor at the Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing at RVS Mala Base, Port Vila. Story by Lieutenant Nic Hawkins. Photos by Sergeant David Cotton.

Petty Officer McIntosh has been working with the VPF Police Maritime Wing since March 19, assisting the local force with maritime operations.

Australia and Vanuatu have a long-standing maritime security partnership stretching back to the deployment of first advisors in 1983, and the delivery of patrol boat RVS Tukoro in 1987 and RVS Takuare in 2021.

“My colleagues and I are providing training and mentoring across a range of areas, including standard operating procedures (SOPs), base operations, boat operations, troubleshooting and health and safety,” Petty Officer McIntosh said.

CAPTIONPetty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Gary McIntosh discusses maritime surveillance operations around Vanuatu waters with Inspector Bianca Simeon in Port Vila.

“As a coxswain on patrol boats, you wear many hats, from the usual discipline roles of a naval coxswain to minor war vessel medical care provider, clerk, watchkeeper, officer of the day and officer of the watch – and having done that job for a long time I feel I’m able to provide insightful mentoring to the officers of the Vanuatu Police Force Maritime Wing,” he said.

Earlier this year, RVS Takuare was damaged when Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin successively hit Port Vila within 72 hours. It is being repaired in Australia.

“While RVS Takuare is in Australia, we have taken this opportunity to help develop SOPs – especially base operations, health and safety and dedicated training – plus it has given us an opportunity to really get to know the team here,” Petty Officer McIntosh said.

“We are also supporting the Police Maritime Wing to operate their maritime platforms and bring online Emma Kate, a new 15m police boat loaned to Vanuatu while Takuare is in Australia.

“There is still so much to be done and I’m loving the work. We’re currently helping with a project to upgrade existing police vessels navigation systems with the help of Cairns-based contractors. What makes this experience so rewarding is working alongside the Police Maritime Wing every day.”

CAPTIONPetty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Gary McIntosh assists Australian contractors with electrical maintenance on board a Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing vessel.






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2 thoughts on “Maritime mentor makes a difference in Vanuatu

  • 04/09/2023 at 12:37 pm

    On point Alan, The M.P.’s are a bad lot too.

    ”Good Cop – Bad Cop”.

    I’ve met plenty of the latter, buggered if I know where the good ones are kept hidden.

    Remember Ned Kelly was an Australian Hero for a reason!

  • 03/09/2023 at 4:41 pm

    NPCOX? Still remember the flogging they gave me as I return to GI after a night out. Not my favourite people no matter what the PR machine churns out.


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