The focus of the Royal Australian Navy’s 2019 Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE19) will focus on developing cooperation with the Indian Navy, Australian defense minister has announced.
Engagement with India, one of Australia’s key strategic partners in the Indian Ocean region, will be the cornerstone for IPE19, defense minister Christopher Pyne said.
Pyne added that Australia’s relationship with India had expanded significantly since the signing of the Whole-of-Government Framework for Security Cooperation in November 2014, and that he was dedicated to further strengthening this partnership.
“Australia and India share a commitment to a peaceful and secure region, and to upholding a rules-based global order.
“Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 is a major contribution to this effort. It reinforces Australia’s commitment to engaging all Indo-Pacific nations and promoting regional maritime security cooperation,” minister Pyne said.
The Joint Task Force for next year’s expedition will involve up to five Royal Australian Navy vessels including a landing helicopter dock, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force assets and personnel, and foreign force elements.
As part of IPE19, Australia and India will participate in the biennial bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX.
During IPE19, ADF personnel will participate in a series of engagement activities and military training exercises during port visits to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, ADF personnel will participate in the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus maritime exercise and the Five Power Defence Arrangements Exercise, Bersama Shield.
The IPE19 Joint Task Force is due to depart Perth in March 2019.