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Police Force Maritime Wing

The Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) includes the Police Maritime Wing (PMW). The Vanuatu Police Force Maritime Wing was established on 15th August 1985. In February 1987 the Maritime wing recruited its technical sailors and seaman. RVS Tukoro was handed over to the Vanuatu government on September 1987 and in 1988 was the establishment of the Maritime surveillance centers. In August 2010, RVS Turoroa was handed over to PMW.

Australia gifted Vanuatus Pacific patrol boat, RVS Tukoro, in 1987 as part of the Program. The Tukoro participates in a number of regional exercises and provides critical maritime surveillance and emergency response assistance. Australia currently provides ongoing funding for maritime training for Tukoros crew and operational fuel to conduct surveillance patrols of Vanuatus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Tukoro spent much of 2013 undergoing its third refit in Cairns at a cost of approximately $8 million, which was funded through the Program. This refit will see the Tukoro remain in operation until its scheduled end-of-life in 2019.

The function of the VMFPW is to operate as the primary resource for the implementation of the Maritime Policy.

  • Detect and Monitor Fishing Activity
  • Respond to the Detection of Illegal Fishing
  • Enforce Fishing Regulations
  • Undertake a Support Role with regard to Immigration, Customs and Bio-Security Department
  • Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities (IUU).
  • Assist with Disaster Relief and Medical Evacuation (Medevac)
  • Salvage
  • Support Other government department/ Police operation/ Remote Area Policing
  • Undertake Maritime Search and Rescue Tasks. (Not necessary confined to the 200 NM EEZ

Secondary Roles include undertaking National Tasking in support of Government Departments requirements when compatible with and without detriment to, the Primary Roles. This includes Intra-Regional operability with Maritime elements of neighboring South West Pacific nations in support of common aims, and Maritime wing and other maritime agency personnel training.

The centerpiece of Australia's security engagement in the Pacific region is the Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB) program. Between 1987 and 1997, Australia built and gifted 22 patrol boats to 12 Pacific Island countries. The boats are operated by local defence forces and/or police service maritime elements. They provide countries with a sovereign capability to conduct maritime surveillance and enforcement in their extensive Exclusive Economic Zones. They also play a key role in other national tasking, including search and rescue, disaster relief, election support, immigration and customs and official government transport.

In addition to the provision of the patrol boats, Australia provides participating states with enduring advisory, training, and maintenance support. A network of 24 Royal Australian Navy advisers (and two associated Royal New Zealand Navy personnel) is attached to the various Pacific Island countries to provide operational and technical advice to the operating elements. Australia also funds patrols that involve engagement between two or more countries.

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