The Tonga Defense Services (TDS) is the armed force of Tonga. It is composed of three operational command components, two support elements (logistics and training groups).
The mission of the Tonga Defence Services is to: Defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The TDS is partially supported by defense cooperation agreements with Australia, United States, China, United Kingdom, India and New Zealand. These Security Cooperation aim at capacity development through training of TDS personnel in leadership, academic and trades while support for infrastucture development is another part of these Security Cooperation.
In recent years, members of the TDS have supported Coalition of the Willing in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.
The TDS is organized in a unified command system. It consists of three forces, the Regular Force, the Territorial Force and the Active Reserve. The three main component units of the Regular Force are the Land Force, Support TDS, and Navy.
The main elements of the Tonga Defence Services are:
- Tonga Defence Services Headquarters
- Joint Force Headquarters
- Territorial Forces
- Land Force
- Tongan Navy
- Air Wing
- Training Wing
- Support Unit
Ships of TDS Maritime Force
- VOEA Neiafu (P201) - Pacific-class patrol boat
- VOEA Pangai (P202) - Pacific-class patrol boat
- VOEA Savea (P203) - Pacific-class patrol boat
- VOEA Lomipeau (A301) - coastal tanker
- VOEA Late (C315) - LCM-8 type, logistic barge
- Titilupe - Royal Yacht
The Pacific-class patrol craft were provided to Tonga by Australia as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Program.
International Defense Organisations
The TDS is a member of the following international defense organisations:
- Pacific Armies Management Seminar (PAMS)
- Pacific Area Senior Officers Logistics Seminar (PASOLS)
- Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS)
- International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
- South Pacific Hydrographic Commission (SPHC)
- NATO Codification, where though Pacific Codification System (PCS), Tonga and Fiji are sponsored by Australia
- United Nations
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