Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson will travel to Indonesia, Vietnam, and Australia to discuss how the US Department of State’s “T Family” contributes toward a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
As part of the Thompson's fifteen day visit, she will meet with senior officials to discuss how the Department’s “T Family” of organisations – the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance; the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation; and the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs – each contribute towards a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
In Australia, the Under Secretary will conduct a series of conversations with senior government and military officials to continue building on the success of last month's Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), which saw both government's agree to collaborate on key diplomatic, security and economic multipliers, including:
- Planning for a Civil Space Dialogue between the Australian and US space industries to take place before the end of 2018 to increase co-operation on civilian space applications and promote commercial space activities;
- Fully implement the Force Posture Initiatives and expand training engagement with regional military partners through the Force Posture Initiatives between the US and Australian military forces in Australia;
- Co-ordinate efforts to raise the number of US Marines in Marine Rotation Force Darwin to its full complement of 2,500 as soon as practicable;
- Develop and implement a plan to counter the growth of advanced missile threats to mutual security interests in the Indo-Pacific region;
- Strengthen defence collaboration on hypersonics through technology and concept development, and the testing and validation of high-speed flight technologies; and
- Implement a cyber MOU signed by US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne to conduct research, development, testing, and evaluation of cyber space capabilities.
Thompson will also meet with US and Australian defence manufacturers to discuss the Trump administration’s ongoing effort to streamline and modernise defence exports, and how this will further deepen bilateral security ties, enhance the stability and resilience of partners across the Indo-Pacific, and promote freedom of navigation, overflight and other lawful uses of international waterways, including in the South China Sea.
As part of strengthening the relationship between Vietnam and the US, the Under Secretary's visit will be focused on enhancing bilateral co-operation in the areas of security co-operation and defence trade, maritime security, peacekeeping, and humanitarian issues. Additionally, the Under Secretary will also visit on-going US funded to survey and clear un-exploded ordnance in Quang Tri province.
The US is the largest single donor to the clearance of explosive hazards in Vietnam, investing more than $105 million since 1993, which continues to save lives, prevent injury, and provides the strong foundation for a rapidly expanding and mutually beneficial US-Vietnam defence relationship.
In Indonesia, Thompson will meet with senior officials to expand partnerships on defence trade and nonproliferation. Indonesia is among the region’s largest purchasers of US manufactured defence equipment, including $1.6 billion worth of foreign military sales cases as well as $522 million worth of direct commercial sales licensed by the DoD in recent years.