Australian Navy sends six-ship fleet on Indo-Pacific mission

Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Darwin, HMAS Melbourne, HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Toowoomba steam line astern during their departure from Sydney Harbour during the fleet departure for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 (IPE 17). Photo: Royal Australian Navy

A fleet of six Royal Australian Navy ships got underway from Sydney on September 4 for a series of drills in the Indo-Pacific region.

Running through November 26, the deployment is being referred to as the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 and will see the ships work together with a number of regional navies.

More than 1,200 Australian Defence Force personnel, led by Canberra class amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide, will train with Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.

Adelaide will be accompanied at various stages of the deployment by frigates HMAS Melbourne, HMAS Darwin, HMAS Toowoomba, HMAS Parramatta, and replenishment ship HMAS Sirius, making it the biggest coordinated Australian task group deployment since the early 1980s.

“This deployment is another opportunity to promote security cooperation in the region and exercise our humanitarian and disaster relief capability where it may be used,” Australian minister for defense Marise Payne said.

Minister Payne said activities like Indo-Pacific Endeavour generated personal relationships, shared experiences and common understanding with our regional partners that could be crucial to success in times of uncertainty or crisis.

Indo-Pacific Endeavour will also involve service personnel from the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force and include Defence civilians, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft.

“The Joint Task Group will demonstrate the Australian Defence Force’s ability to operate across the full spectrum of military operations, from high-end military capabilities such as anti-submarine warfare to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” minister Payne said.

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