Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) and Australian Army mechanics worked side by side in Honiara workshops as they prepared a fleet of patrol vehicles for the 17th Pacific Games.
CAPTION Australian soldier Craftsman Bradley Scheef and members of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) maintain a police vehicle in preparation for the Pacific Games. Story by Major Roger Brennan. Photos by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.
About 5000 participants from 24 countries will attend the games, involving athletes, spectators and support staff.
They will be welcomed and kept safe by the RSIPF and the Pacific nations supporting them.
Australian Army officer Captain Andrew Matthews said the invitation from the Solomon Islands government to assist the RSIPF was an opportunity he and his soldiers were proud to embrace.
“This is the ‘Olympics of the Pacific’… it’s amazing to support an event of this size and calibre,” Captain Matthews said.
“We are ready to support the AFP and the RSIPF, whether in workshops or logistics – it’s just such a privilege to contribute to safe and secure games.”
Australia’s sporting contingent is the largest it has sent to the Pacific Games, and its deep history with the Solomon Islands is underpinned by people-to-people links and the love of sport.
Commanding Officer of the Solomons’ International Assistance Force Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Mackenzie said sport played a critical role in the ADF and was a pillar of building strong teams.
“Unbreakable bonds are forged through sport, and the Pacific family is here working as one team to support the Solomon Islands and the games,” Lieutenant Colonel Mackenzie said.
“The Solomon Islands Government has invited us to assist the RSIPF, and to do it alongside the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and the Australian Police Force is quite an honour.”
CAPTION: Australian soldier Craftsman Aaron Primarera drains oil from an RSIPF vehicle.