NZDF

NZDF Trains Fijian Navy Sailors

Ensign Josefa Navakaroko was one of four Republic of Fiji Navy sailors who trained recently on board the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Hawea.
Ensign Josefa Navakaroko was one of four Republic of Fiji Navy sailors who trained recently on board the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Hawea.

29 June 2017

Fijian Navy sailors say they are gaining valuable training on board Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Hawea, which is currently in Fiji to help patrol the South Pacific country’s territorial water.

Ensign Josefa Navakaroko, who was assigned to be the assistant Officer of the Watch during the recent patrol, said he would share what he has learnt with his colleagues in the Republic of Fiji Navy (RFN).

“I have gained so much knowledge and experience, especially in navigation. Technology on board is more advanced than we are familiar with but with more hands-on experience and time, we will surely be familiar with everything.”

He said Hawea’s crew have been so welcoming and shared their knowledge with RFN sailors.

Ordinary Seaman Jesoni Viliviliyama, a seaman gunner, helped board and inspect vessels during the patrol.

“I learnt the role of being a helmsman on board, driving the ship as it transited around Fiji. I also gained more specific trade training such as launching the sea boats and being a member of the boarding team,” he said.

“Compared to our ships, we do not carry out the same procedures so I have been learning a lot in this area.”

“The training is valuable and will help me in my career. I will take back to my Navy all that I have learnt and help improve how we do some evolutions because of the knowledge I gained,” Ordinary Seaman Viliviliyama said.

Lieutenant Dave Luhrs, the Commanding Officer of Hawea, said up to four Fijian Navy sailors join the ship for training every time she goes on patrols. Four patrols, each lasting about a week, have now been conducted.

“The best way to learn skills in a maritime environment is through personal experience. That is why we have integrated the Fijian Navy sailors into the crew for all patrols and they have been involved with the boardings being conducted as part of a fully integrated team comprised of personnel from the Royal New Zealand Navy, RFN, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries.”

“By providing practical, hands-on training, we hope to support the RFN in developing their capability,” Lieutenant Luhrs said.

The New Zealand Defence Force sent Hawea to Fiji in late April to help patrol its territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone over the next six months. Hawea’s deployment to Fiji marks the first time that a Royal New Zealand Navy Inshore Patrol Vessel is deployed to the South Pacific, and fulfils the New Zealand government’s offer to assist Fiji in maritime surveillance.

This page was last reviewed on 29 June 2017, and is current.