Lombrum Naval Base

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
PNG Defence Force Base Lombrum
'HMPNGS Tarangau
Manus Island in Papua New Guinea
PNG Defence Force Base Lombrum is located in Papua New Guinea
PNG Defence Force Base Lombrum
PNG Defence Force Base Lombrum
Location in Papua New Guinea
Coordinates 2°02′25″S 147°22′19″E / 2.04028°S 147.37194°E / -2.04028; 147.37194Coordinates: 2°02′25″S 147°22′19″E / 2.04028°S 147.37194°E / -2.04028; 147.37194
Type Naval base
Site information
Site history
Built January 1944 (1944-01)
Battles/wars Pacific War, World War II
Garrison information
Garrison Maritime Operations Element
Occupants Pacific-class patrol boat

Lombrum Naval Base or HMPNGS Tarangau is a naval military base operated by the Maritime Operations Element of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF).[1] It is located on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Lombrum is the home port of the PNGDF's Pacific-class patrol boat force.[2]

The Manus Regional Processing Centre was established at Lombrum in 2001.


The facility started life during World War II as a United States Navy base, established in January 1944 after the recapture of the island from the Japanese.[2] Although a major naval base during the latter part of the war, the facility was abandoned by the Americans in 1946 as their policy of containment shifted strategic focus away from the southern Pacific.[2] The Australian government took over the site, redeveloped it, and reopened it as the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base HMAS Seeadler, commissioning on 1 January 1950[2][3] to replace the RAN base at Dreger Harbour, near Finschhafen.[3][4] The base was renamed HMAS Tarangau, the name of the former Dreger Harbour base,[5][3] on 1 April 1950.[2][5]

The base was used as a refuelling and stores point for RAN ships travelling between Australia and South East Asia.[5] The size of the facility gradually shrunk through the 1950s and 1960s, and the decision was made to hand the facility over to Papua New Guinea as part of the process leading to the nation's independence from Australia.[2][6] As part of this, Tarangau was paid off on 14 November 1974 and given to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, who reactivated the base as PNG Defence Force Base Lombrum.[6]

In 2018 Australian and Papau New Guinea officials met to discuss expanding the base again, so that it can also serve as a base for Australian Navy vessels.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HMPNGS Tarangau". Papua New Guinea Defence Force. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. p. 349. ISBN 9780195517842. OCLC 271822831.
  3. ^ a b c "Base At Manus". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 21 December 1949. p. 1.
  4. ^ Eldridge, Stephen; (member, RAN, 1947–1950). "Verbal History" (Interview).
  5. ^ a b c "HMAS Tarangau" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy News. Royal Australian Navy. 14 (8). 16 April 1971.
  6. ^ a b Moore, John, ed. (1977). Jane's Fighting Ships 1977–78. Jane's Fighting Ships (80th ed.). London: Jane's Yearbooks. p. 20. ISBN 0531032779. OCLC 18207174.
  7. ^ "Move to head off China with Australian base in PNG". The Australian. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-20. Australian officials have expressed concerns over Chinese interest in the redevelopment of four PNG ports, at Wewak, Kikori, Vanimo and Manus Island, fearing the Asian superpower is working towards gaining a military foothold in the region.