Part of a Royal Australian Navy contingent has begun multilateral exercises with warships from Singapore, Brunei and the US, while sailing to Hawaii to participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020.
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In recent weeks, a Joint Task Force sailed out of Darwin on the ADF’s largest deployment of the year, comprising about 1,500 ADF personnel aboard HMA Ships Arunta, Sirius, Stuart, Hobart and Canberra.
Commander of the Joint Task Group, Commodore Michael Harris, said the three-month Regional Presence Deployment 2020 was an opportunity to engage with partners and support the stability and security of the Indo-Pacific region.
“This deployment demonstrates our ability to conduct sustained operations as a joint force and to continue increasing the capability of the ADF,” CDRE Harris said.
Defence has revealed that two of the ships, HMA Ships Stuart and Sirius, are exercising with RSS Supreme of the Republic of Singapore Navy, KDB Darulehsan of the Royal Brunei Navy, and USS Rafael Peralta of the US Navy, as they make their way to RIMPAC, which is scheduled to kick off on 17 August.
CDRE Harris said the exercises would enhance interoperability, and prepare participants for Rim of the Pacific.
“RAN’s relationships with Brunei, Singapore and the United States are defined through strong personal and professional connections that are built from the ground up,” CDRE Harris said.
“To work with each other is to understand each other, not just professionally but also culturally and personally. The exercise reflects Australia's commitment to working with our neighbours, and the region.”
The activity comes as part of the Regional Presence Deployment 2020, which will see exercises conducted across south-east Asia and Hawaii in order to demonstrate Australia’s enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific.