Minister for Defence Industry Linda Reynolds has launched Indo-Pacific Endeavour 19 (IPE 19) with the departure of HMA Ships Canberra, Success, Newcastle and Parramatta from Fremantle in Western Australia.
At the launch of the third iteration of this activity, Minister Reynolds said she was "pleased with the level of engagement planned with Australia’s Indian Ocean region partners over the next three months".
“The Australian Defence Force enjoys a long-standing relationship with security forces throughout south and south-east Asia,” Minister Reynolds said.
“These relationships are strengthened by annual exercises and engagements, such as the Indo-Pacific Endeavour series.”
One thousand ADF personnel will carry out a series of activities and military training exercises during port visits in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, with Minister Reynolds confirming that IPE 19 will "incorporate Australia's defence industry into the port visits".
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate the Australian Defence capacity across the spectrum of ADF activities during IPE19, with defence industry representatives participating to highlight their products and services,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The Liberal National government is committed to Australian small and medium enterprises in the defence industry and ensuring they have every chance of exporting success.”
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne highlighted the importance of building "interoperability with key partners", as well as improving co-ordination of humanitarian and security responses.
“IPE 19 is a major regional engagement activity for the ADF, which delivers on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to strengthen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces,” Minister Pyne said.
“Our strong and enduring relationships with regional militaries, governments and local communities are critical to this.”
Defence also noted that the Joint Task Force will be able to showcase some of their "state-of-the-art capabilities" to host nations, including Canberra Class landing helicopter dock ship, HMAS Canberra.
Canberra's first port of call will be in Colombo, Sri Lanka.