Mine-hunting experts from the Royal Australian Navy will join colleagues from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and US Navy off the coast of Japan for a trilateral mine countermeasure exercise, Hyuga Nada.
Hosted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the exercise will run from 14-24 November 2019 and will involve a RAN Command Task Group for the first time.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the exercise demonstrates the shared commitment by Australia, Japan and the US to increase interoperability and deepen the sophistication of trilateral exercises.
"Deploying mine hunters, HMA Ships Gascoyne and Diamantina, to Japan for the second consecutive year builds upon last year’s inaugural Exercise Hyuga Nada," Minister Reynolds said.
"The trilateral relationship complements our strong and effective bilateral defence relationships with the United States and Japan, and maximises joint efforts to support our shared interest in the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region."
HMA Ships Gascoyne and Diamantina are deployed as part of the Maritime East Asia Deployment and are scheduled to return to Australia in December this year.
This marks Australia's second year participating in Exercise Hyuga Nada and comes as part of the Australian government's renewed east Asian presence exercises, which saw the first overseas deployment for the new destroyer HMAS Hobart, which will lead the first task group element, and is the RAN’s second multiple task group activity in the region this year and also comprises HMA Ships Arunta, Sirius, Leeuwin, Ararat, Gascoyne and Diamantina, as well as two submarines.
Task group ships will visit Guam, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Over the next several months, ships in the different task group elements will participate in Exercises Nichi Gou Trident, Haedoli Wallaby, Annualex, Pacific Vanguard, Bersama Lima, MASTEX, New Horizon, Multinational Mine Warfare and Hyuga Nada.