The Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE 19) Joint Task Force has continued its international engagement activities with the arrival of two ships in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.
HMA Ships Canberra and Newcastle’s port call follows the recent signing in November of the Joint Vision Statement on enhancing defence co-operation with Vietnam, and upgrading of the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership in March 2018.
These developments reflect the strength of the Australia-Vietnam relationship and our commitment to co-operating on areas of mutual interest.
Commander of the IPE 19 Joint Task Force, Air Commodore Rick Owen, AM, said the visit was an important opportunity to increase defence co-operation between the two countries: "Our defence engagement with Vietnam only started in 1998 but in the intervening years we have become important partners in helping to ensure the region remains safe, secure, open and prosperous."
Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program with Vietnam includes English language training, maritime security, officer development, peacekeeping, aviation safety, military medicine and counter-terrorism.
"This visit is an important part of strengthening our partnership, including working with local communities in Khanh Hoa Province," AIRCDRE Owen said.
Australia continues to work with Vietnam to grow its maritime security capability through providing positions on naval training courses and conducting co-operation activities with the Vietnamese People’s Army during annual Royal Australian Navy ship visits.
During the visit, members of the IPE 19 Joint Task Force will be joining members of the Vietnamese Armed Forces in a series of military and cultural activities, including sharing Australian experience in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and a visit to a local school.
IPE 19 is the ADF’s major regional engagement activity, delivering on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to strengthen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces.
For the first time, the Joint Task Force is incorporating Australian defence industry through showcasing some of the country’s industry capabilities and services during official receptions on board HMAS Canberra.