The ships are set to link up with regional counterparts for a major maritime engagement activity.
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Royal Australian Navy (RAN) HMA Ships Adelaide and Anzac have departed Darwin to take part in Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 (IPE22), described by Defence as Australia’s “flagship regional engagement activity”.
The Canberra Class landing helicopter dock ship (LHD) and Anzac Class frigate have deployed with 11 helicopters and approximately 1,800 personnel.
The platforms are set to be joined by several other RAN platforms including Anzac Class frigate HMAS Arunta, Hobart Class air warfare destroyer HMAS Hobart; and Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessel HMAS Stalwart.
The contingent is expected to visit 14 countries in the region, which include India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Commander IPE22 Commodore Mal Wise said IPE would help strengthen relations with Australia’s key regional partners.
“Working with partners in the international environment is something navies have been doing for hundreds of years,” CDRE Wise said.
“Knowing and understanding the partners you have — what their sensitivities and interests are — is key to building a secure and stable neighbourhood.”
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.
Acting superintendent Vanessa Bell said IPE22 would enable the Australian Border Force to build ties with counterparts in South-East Asia and the north-east Indian Ocean.
“The Australian Border Force works extensively with regional counterparts in relation to civil maritime security,” acting superintendent Bell said.
“By working together, we seek to realise the vision of an open, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
“Indo-Pacific Endeavour provides us the opportunity to continue our work within the region and we look forward to working with our valued partners throughout this exercise.”
IPE22 commenced late last month with engagements in Maldives and Timor-Leste.
The RAN contingent is expected to return to the Top End in December.
[Related: Exercise Kakadu draws to a close]