Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has announced that a detachment of Royal Australian Navy ships have joined an eight-ship fleet with more than 1,500 personnel aboard from Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US for Exercise Pacific Vanguard, in waters off Guam.
The exercise is part of the Royal Australian Navy’s Regional Presence Deployment through south-east Asia and the Pacific, which demonstrates Australia’s enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the exercise brings together four key like-minded regional partners, working in support of a shared vision for a secure, open, prosperous and inclusive region.
“The increasing complexity of our security environment highlights the importance of maintaining and growing our regional partnerships. Ours is a strong community built on shared interests, and activities like Exercise Pacific Vanguard increase our ability to contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific,” Minister Reynolds explained.
HMA Ships Stuart and Arunta will participate from the RAN, in this third iteration of Pacific Vanguard.
During the exercise, naval forces will practice a range of activities, including combined manoeuvres, surface warfare, live-fire exercises, anti-submarine warfare and replenishment at sea.
Commander of the Australian Maritime Task Group, Captain Phillipa Hay, CSC, said the RAN welcomed the opportunity to work with key regional partners on complex warfighting skills within a task group.
“Pacific Vanguard is an invaluable opportunity to increase the Royal Australian Navy’s understanding and experience working with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy and United States Navy,” CAPT Hay said.
Japanese Ships Ashigara and Ise, Republic of Korea Ships Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin and Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, and USS Barry, a submarine and USNS John Erickson from the United States will also take part.
Exercise Pacific Vanguard was conducted in accordance with COVID-19 safety measures.
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CAPT Hay added, “It’s more important than ever to increase practical co-operation with regional partners.”