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HMAS Warramunga deployed to international exercise in India

HMAS Stuart makes a replenishment at sea approach alongside HMAS Warramunga while off the coast of Western Australia. Photo: POIS Leo Baumgartner

The Australian Defence Force has sent Anzac Class frigate HMAS Warramunga to take part in regional military event Exercise Milan 24, as the first regional presence deployment of 2024.

The Australian Defence Force has sent Anzac Class frigate HMAS Warramunga to take part in regional military event Exercise Milan 24, as the first regional presence deployment of 2024.

Exercise Milan 24 brings together more than 50 nations, 20 international vessels, and aircraft from the Indo-Pacific region in the port city of Visakhapatnam and adjacent Bay of Bengal, India, from 19 to 27 February.

Attending the large-scale multilateral exercise, Australia aims to deepen relationships with India and like-minded regional partners.

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HMAS Warramunga, an embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, and Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Chris Smith will represent the ADF at the event.

Australia’s Joint Force Maritime Component Commander, Commodore Jonathan Ley, said the exercise was important for building international relationships, professional development, and for Warramunga’s crew to practice operating at sea as part of a large multilateral fleet.

“Exercise Milan is an important biennial training activity for the Indo-Pacific region and valuable for advancing Australia’s place as an Indian Ocean neighbour,” CDRE Ley said.

“Our participation in Exercise Milan 24 will help deepen Australia’s navy-to-navy relationship with India, provide opportunities for naval leaders to contemplate shared security challenges, and enhance mutual understanding among the navies of like-minded nations.

“I am very grateful to the Indian Navy for the opportunity to again join the growing number of participants in 2024.”

HMAS Warramunga departed for its current three-month regional presence deployment in late January and will participate in several exercises, cooperative activities, and joint patrols with partner navies along with regional port visits.

Milan 24 originally started with four nations in 1995 and Australia has been a participant since 2003.

The four-day sea phase of Exercise Milan 24 will comprise advanced maritime training including anti-submarine, anti-surface, and anti-air warfare exercises along with large-force maritime manoeuvres.

Milan 24, the 12th edition of India’s biennial flagship exercise, pursues the theme of “Camaraderie, Cohesion, Collaboration”, including a six-day harbour phase offering knowledge-sharing, leadership engagement, and a tabletop exercise along with a street parade and cultural exchanges.

Australia’s participation in Exercise Milan 2024 follows its hosting of Indian-owned Exercise Malabar for the first time in 2023, which drew together naval forces from India, Japan, the United States, and Australia for exercises in Sydney and the seas off the NSW coast.

In August 2023, the Indian Navy Kalvari Class submarine Vagir arrived at Fleet Base West for the first official visit of an Indian submarine to Australia. The 67-metre long, diesel-electric “Sand Shark” submarine was on extended range deployment across the Indian Ocean to Fremantle after leaving the Sri Lankan port of Colombo in June. The trip was marked as the longest deployment for the vessel or any other Scorpene Class, covering a distance of more than 7,000 kilometres from the home port of Mumbai to Perth.

Robert Dougherty

Robert Dougherty

Robert is a senior journalist who has previously worked for Seven West Media in Western Australia, as well as Fairfax Media and Australian Community Media in New South Wales. He has produced national headlines, photography and videography of emergency services, business, community, defence and government news across Australia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Public Relations and Journalism at Curtin University, attended student exchange program with Fudan University and holds Tier 1 General Advice certification for Kaplan Professional. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via LinkedIn.
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