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Women take the helm with patrol boat training

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More women are taking part in Pacific Patrol Boat training thanks to changes to the next generation of patrol boats that will make it easier to accommodate a female crew.

Constables Annalieze Taumua, Rosalia Manutulila and Suisui Malu from Samoa, and Second Lieutenant Domingas Soares Ximenes from Timor Leste, are currently enrolled on seamanship and navigation courses at AMC Search.

The four trainees represent the highest number of women enrolled in AMC Search’s Pacific Patrol Boat training program at any one time in the program’s 25 year history.

Lieutenant Domingas Soares Ximenes from the Timor Leste Defence Force’s Component Navale (CN) is expanding her maritime skillset with a Navigation Officers course.

“I’ve worked on a ship since 2012, and have previously done basic navigation. I hope to become an Officer on Timor Leste’s new Guardian-class patrol boat, and the course at AMC Search is helping improve my navigation skills,” she said.

Along with her countrywomen, Constable Suisui Malu, a member of the Samoan Police Force, has been here for eight weeks learning basic seamanship and gaining the skills and knowledge to become a member of the Deck Department on-board the vessels.

Constable Malu hasn’t previously worked at sea, but she isn’t letting this stop her from aiming high.

“I’m enjoying the Basic Seamanship course at AMC Search. It’s interesting and there is healthy competition between the participants. I’m looking forward to working on the new patrol boats – in fact, I’m hoping to be the first female captain!” she said.

Pacific Patrol Boat Program Manager, Barry Jones, said the increase in the number of female trainees is a welcome development.

“The new Guardian-class Pacific Patrol boats, which will replace the current patrol boats in all Pacific nations, will have four and six berth cabins, allowing females to serve on-board,” he said.

It’s fantastic to see the Pacific nations preparing to crew the new vessels by selecting female trainees. We hope to see many more women completing our training and going on to patrol their countries’ waters in the new vessels."

About the Pacific Patrol Boat Program

For over 25 years, AMC Search has trained the crews of the Pacific Class Patrol Boats for 12 Pacific nations under contract from Australian Defence.

More than 150 students a year come to AMC Search to train in all aspects of running the pacific patrol boats — from Cook to Commanding Officer — before returning to their countries to put their new-found skills into practice.

Published on: 20 Jun 2018