Friends, family and loved ones lined the wharf at Fleet Base West, south of Perth, Western Australia, in late August as HMA Ships Sirius and Arunta departed for North East Asian deployments.
The deployments will strengthen diplomatic ties through regional engagement and showcase the capability of the Royal Australian Navy.
The ships have a busy program planned with the first event being Exercise AUSINDEX 15, the inaugural bilateral maritime exercise with the Indian Navy, which follows on from previous military engagements with the Indian Navy back in June. Though the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy have regularly exercised together in recent years, this is the first time the interaction has been formalised and marks an exciting milestone for the bilateral relationship.
Arunta and Sirius will each be involved in multiple exercises including AUSINDEX, BERSAMA LIMA, HAIDOLI WALLABY with the Republic of Korean Navy, and NEW HORIZON, operating with both Australian and foreign military units from around the region.
The aim of these exercises will be to strengthen relationships and enhance mutual co-operation and understanding between the various defence forces. These exercises will also provide opportunities for interaction and the exchange of professional views between personnel from all defence forces.
BERSAMA LIMA is an annual exercise conducted with the Malaysian Navy in the South China Sea, followed by Exercise NEW HORIZON with the Indonesian Navy.
In the latter half of the deployment the ships will take part in the Fleet Concentration Period and Warfare Assessment Week in the Eastern Australian Exercise Area before heading home back to Fleet Base West.
Image: Australian Navy