HMA Ships Adelaide and Toowoomba are on their way to the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara; and concurrently, HMAS Success will visit Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. The deployment is one of the most significant annual regional engagement activities for the Australian Defence Force.
IPE Task Group Commander, Captain Jim Hutton, said the visits would build on Australia’s long history of defence co-operation in the region and contribute to the nation's shared interest in building regional peace and security.
"These visits are an important opportunity for us to work with our closest neighbours to learn from each other to build interoperability between out nations," CAPT Hutton said.
The Australian contingent includes a platoon of Australian soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and US Marines attached to the Marine Rotational Force based in Darwin.
IPE also provides an opportunity to conduct women in leadership workshops, provide medical training, and work with communities to rejuvenate local schools will be very special for the crews of Adelaide, Toowoomba and Success. But more importantly, these activities support our mutual interests in a safer more prosperous region.”
As part of the visit, the crews will stand side-by-side with their Pacific and US partners to commemorate the loss of HMAS AE1, Australia’s first submarine, which sank off the coast of Rabaul in 1914, and the sinking of HMAS Canberra during the WWII Pacific campaign.
These port visits follow successful engagement activities and military training exercises during port visits in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.
CAPT Hutton said, "They're also a chance for us to give back to communities who have welcomed us to their home with open arms."
Adelaide and Toowoomba are due to arrive in Honiara on 17 August. Success is due to arrive in Rabaul on 16 August. The Joint Task Group ships are due to return to Australia after the regional port visits.