Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) members planning security for the upcoming 2023 Pacific Games have spent time in Queensland as part of an AFP-hosted exchange program.
The week-long program highlighted the AFP’s ongoing support to the RSIPF as it ramps up its operational readiness before Solomon Islands hosts the 2023 Pacific Games.
The exchange program was delivered under the RSIPF & AFP Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP) and it supported two RSIPF Aviation members to travel to Queensland’s Gold Coast and Brisbane airports. RAPPP Advisor, Leading Senior Constable Will Varga led the RSIPF members on a tour through the Gold Coast and Brisbane airports, where they were introduced to various teams across the AFP.
At Brisbane Airport, they met the AFP team responsible for managing athletes travelling through the airport for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This included learning how the AFP worked with FIFA volunteers and the special processes implemented at the airport to ensure seamless transits for the athletes. The program provided the RSIPF members with examples of practices that could be applied during the Pacific Games at Honiara Airport, when more than 5000 athletes are expected to travel to Solomon Islands.
The RSIPF members were also introduced to the various areas within the AFP airport offices including the Emergency Operations Centre, airport operations area, Protection Operations Response Team (PORT) operations area, canine facilities and the rapid appraisal officer capability.
Earlier this year, the AFP also hosted three RSIPF members in Canberra as part of the RAPPP exchange program which aimed to prepare the RSIPF for Pacific Games security planning.
During this trip, they visited the National Operations State Service Centre (NOSSC) and spoke to the Special Events Planning Team (SEPT). This provided RSIPF members with a unique insight into how the AFP’s NOSSC and SEPT operate during major events, similar to the Pacific Games.
Leading Senior Constable Varga said hosting RSIPF members in Australia is always a rewarding experience for the AFP.
“As well as being able to highlight the work the AFP does here, it also provides Australian based members with the opportunity to hear first-hand how the RSIPF operates and learn new skills and techniques from them,” he said.
“We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with the RSIPF, and we remain ready and eager to assist in ensuring the delivery of a safe and secure Pacific Games.”
RSIPF Officer-in-Charge of Aviation, Paul Kalea, thanked the AFP and RSIPF executive, including RAPPP Advisors Nathan Weaver and Will Varga, for making the training possible.
“With the expectation of RSIPF capacity development, I am hoping to see similar advancement in other areas of training that will improve our officer’s capabilities and assist them with their careers.” he said.
“I have identified various areas of interest in terms of security capabilities for aviation police which will be provided in my detailed report with suggestions and recommendations.”
Solomon Islands is hosting the Pacific Games from 19 November to 2 December 2023 for the first time in more than 40 years, with 5,000 participants from 24 Oceania countries and territories expected to compete in 24 sports.
AFP and RSIPF are working together in partnership through a joint planning team to ensure preparedness for the delivery of a ‘safe and green games’ as mandated by the Solomon Islands Government.