HMAS Childers, an Armidale class patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), has docked in Rangoon, Burma where her 21 crew will stay for a four day good will visit.
The visit stems from the Australian Government’s initiative to build up ties with the Myanmar Government. Over half a century has passed since the last visit of an Australian warship to Burma.
“This is the first RAN ship to visit Burma in a very long time. It and Captain Dudley’s arrival signify our modest but growing defence engagement following political and economic reforms initiated by the Government of Myanmar in 2011,” Acting Minister for Defence, Senator George Brandis said.
During the visit, the Australian sailors will exchange professional knowledge and engage in cultural events with their counterparts from the Burmese Navy.
Following the visit, HMAS Childers will set sail for a second port call at Chittagong in Bangladesh before she joins an Exercise MILAN 2014 off the Andaman Islands, organized by the Indian Navy. The patrol boat will be deployed for four months before she returns to her base in Cairns.
The strengthening of defence ties has also seen the re-establishment of a resident Defence Attaché office in Burma and appointment of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Captain Jon Dudley to the post left vacant since 1979.
Naval Today Staff, January 21, 2014; Image: Australian Navy