The Royal Solomon Islands Police force (RSIPF) Guardian Class Patrol Boats (GCPB) are now armed during a handing over ceremony recently.
The arming of the RSIPF GCPB enhances its capabilities not only for defence but most importantly for law enforcement and border protection including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The Australian Government through the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Cooperation Program supported the RSIPF with its capability development at key priority areas, in which the rearmament of the patrol boats is one of them.
This elevated capability is world class and will support the police operation for the upcoming pacific games 2023. The capability demonstrates the strengthening of the 41-years of partnership the Australian Defence Force has with the RSIPF.
The Solomon Island Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare and the Australian High Commission to Solomon Islands, H.E Rod Hilton were present and witnessed the Handing over program.
Official white uniforms were part of the handing over ceremony. These uniforms reflect the professionalism of the department and their region-leading use of the Guardian-class Patrol Boats.
Eight double cabin land Cruiser vehicles handed over to maritime, which are fully integrated into the department. These will be used with the small boats previously provided by Defence and located at the locations where Defence has upgraded, or is in the process of upgrading, the RSIPF’s small boats facilities.
Defence has also delivered training to RSIPF Maritime to accompany the gifting of these weapons. All maintenance and sustainment for these capabilities is in place for the life of the equipment.
The Australia Government through the Australian Defence Force Cooperation Program have been very focussed, working together with the RSIPF on delivering these key capabilities ahead of the Pacific Games, across Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Maritime, Police Operation Centre and National Respond Department.
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare in his remarks thanked the Australia Government for their continuous support to the Solomon Islands Security and the RSIPF and states that “we are committed to this partnership.