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ADF to embark on Indo-Pacific tour

ADF to embark on Indo-Pacific tour

Destroyers, frigates and multi-role helicopters are set to be deployed for a two-month tour of the region.

Destroyers, frigates and multi-role helicopters are set to be deployed for a two-month tour of the region.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is preparing to take part in Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) — a two-month tour of 14 countries across South-East Asia and the Northeast Indian Ocean.

IPE, which forms part of Australia’s commitment to preserving an “open, inclusive and resilient region”, is expected to involve military exercises, workshops, training, sporting events, and cultural activities.

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The deployment commences this week with a counterterrorism cooperation and leadership engagement in the Maldives.

This year’s contingent will include five ships, 11 helicopters, and approximately 1,800 personnel from the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Australian Navy.

Deployed vessels include:

  • Landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship HMAS Adelaide;
  • Anzac Class frigates HMA ships Anzac and Arunta;
  • Hobart Class air warfare destroyer HMAS Hobart; and 
  • Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessel HMAS Stalwart.

The Army cohort includes members of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, while the Royal Australian Air Force is expected to deploy air mobility aircraft.

Australian government officials are also set to take part this year, representing the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Australian defence industry and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Over the next two months, the deployment is scheduled to visit the Maldives, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.

The ships are expected to return to Australia by mid-December.

Indo-Pacific Endeavour 22 is the first full-scale iteration since 2019, with the 2020 activity cancelled and conducted through contactless activities in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Indo-Pacific Endeavour demonstrates Australia’s commitment to an open, inclusive and resilient region. This is where we live, and we are more secure when we work closely with our partners,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said.

“Indo-Pacific Endeavour is a chance for our personnel to work, train, and learn from our neighbours. It strengthens our ability to work together when it counts.

“I thank all of the personnel deployed on IPE22, and their families, for their contribution and service.”

Commodore Mal Wise AM, Commander IPE22, welcomed the opportunity to lead the deployment — establishing new relationships and strengthening existing ties with partner nations.

“We plan to learn from our partners all the way from India to Indonesia,” CDRE Wise said.

“Regional security is more than a military task. I am pleased that a range of government agencies are contributing to Indo-Pacific Endeavour as we work together to support a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood.”

[Related: Exercise Kakadu draws to a close ]

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