Pacific partners ensure smooth delivery to Manus Island

Australian Defence Vessel Reliant, HMPNGS Cape Gloucester and the Australian Army’s 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment have transferred essential stores to Manus Island in support of upcoming military Exercise Puk Puk in September.

CAPTIONAn Australian Army vehicle reception party from the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment move stores from HMPNGS Cape Gloucester onto Manus Island, in support of Exercise Puk Puk 2023. Story by Lieutenant Carolyn Martin. Photo by Corporal Lisa Sherman.

Exercise Puk Puk is an annual engineering exercise involving military personnel from Papua New Guinea, Australia, the UK and other partner nations.

Australian Army Lieutenant Jacob McLean, from the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, led the vehicle reception party for the ADF.

“During Exercise Puk Puk we tie in with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Engineer Battalion and we do partnership and capacity building exercises,” Lieutenant McLean said.

“This year, the main scope of works is a refurbishment of a classroom. It also involves a refurbishment of the married quarters here in Lombrum Barracks, and drainage and road repair on Manus Island.”

HMPNGS Cape Gloucester and its crew were essential elements in the stores delivery – rafting alongside ADV Reliant and receiving the cargo, including Army vehicles, via crane. The cargo was then ferried to the barge ramp and into location.

Commanding Officer of HMPNGS Cape Gloucester Lieutenant Bryan Pohaisaid he was excited to work with his Australian colleagues again.

“The transfer of cargo went smoothly and it was great experience for our trainees onboard. I hope we can do more work like this in the future.”

ADV Reliant’s Navy liaison officer, Lieutenant Commander Brenton-James Glover, said ADV Reliant was Australia’s Pacific support vessel.

“This tasking in support of Exercise Puk Puk symbolises the vessel’s mission to work in a collaborative nature alongside our Pacific partners.”

Lieutenant McLean said he would be returning to Manus Island in September for the exercise.

“I look forward to engaging again with those friends and working together to achieve an outcome and really attaining those objectives as a partnership force.”


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