Nuku’aloa – December 6, 2022: 4.15pm (AHC): Australia’s Pacific Support Vessel, Australian Defence Vessel Reliant, arrived in Tonga on December 5.
Reliant will spend several months visiting seven Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, during the Pacific’s high risk weather season, to provide maritime surveillance support and deliver essential cargo, including humanitarian supplies.
It will have a sustained presence in the Pacific to meet the needs of Timor-Leste and our Pacific family, including the ability to respond quickly in times of crisis.
At 102 metres long, the Reliant has a large cargo deck, heavy duty crane, and can produce thousands of litres of fresh water per day to provide targeted and effective support.
Reliant will enhance regional search and rescue, maritime surveillance, transport of essential cargo, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities, while also providing support to training, regional engagement and capacity building activities.
The Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, HE Rachael Moore, said Australia is working with the Kingdom of Tonga to address shared challenges, including the effects of climate change and greater demands for disaster relief as we enter the cyclone season.
“We welcome the visit of the Reliant as a demonstration of Australia’s support to the security and resilience of the Kingdom of Tonga and the region. We look forward to her continued presence in the Pacific and to the support she will provide to the Kingdom over the coming years.”
The vessel’s embarked humanitarian and disaster relief supplies will enable the Reliant to quickly respond in the event of a natural disaster in the region and reinforces Australia’s commitment to meeting our Pacific family’s shared security responsibility.