In 2007 the Australian Border Force sought to acquire a vessel that would spend more than 300 days per year stationed in Ashmore Reef, located 500 nautical miles to the North West of Darwin. Ashmore Reef is Australian territory and a marine reserve. AST Oceanics was awarded the contract.
In 2007 Australian Border Force sought to acquire a vessel that would spend more than 300 days per year stationed in Ashmore Reef, located 500 nautical miles to the North West of Darwin. The vessel was to be supported every 28 days by a crew and logistics resupply vessel operating from Darwin. The contract continued for 6 years until December 2013 and exceeded the annual days on station every year and without a day of down time. Ashmore Reef is Australian territory and a marine reserve. AST Oceanics was awarded a contract to provide a vessel suitable for this task. This involved the purchase, preparation, modification and introduction into service of the ABFC ASHMORE GUARDIAN for Australian Border Force for their operational role of surveillance and protection of Ashmore Reef across 2007-2013. This preparation included the purchase for conversion of the fishing trawler ROPER K in Fremantle. The vessel was mobilized to Singapore for conversion under Oceanics superintendency involving: addition of a new machinery space for two generating sets; new switchboard; new A/C and freezer plant; new sewage system; creation of additional storage space; and inclusion of a waste compactor and associated pumps. A new articulated crane, galley, mast, bridge and navigation equipment and radial davits were also fitted. Accommodation upgrades were provided to all cabins and some new cabins were constructed mid-ships for the use of Australian Border Force staff. An area was also created to accommodate survivors forward. For some considerable time more than 100 dock yard workers were engaged in the conversion.