Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) is making its way to two of Australia’s closest Pacific partners, in a demonstration of Australia’s commitment to the region.
CAPTION: HMAS Success in company with HMAS Toowoomba (rear), and HMAS Adelaide (handrail, front) during Indo Pacific Endeavour 2018. (This image was digitally altered by Defence (no details given)). Photo by Able Seaman Kieran Dempsey.
HMA Ships Adelaide and Toowoomba are on their way to the Solomon Islands’ capital, Honiara – and, concurrently, HMAS Success will visit Rabaul in Papua New Guinea.
The deployment is one of the most significant annual regional engagement activities for the Australian Defence Force.
Personnel onboard the ships include a platoon of Australian soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and United States Marines from the Marine Rotational Force based in Darwin.
IPE Task Group Commander Captain Jim Hutton said the visits would build on Australia’s long history of defence cooperation in the region and contribute to our shared interest in building regional peace and security.
“These visits are an important opportunity for us to work with our closest neighbours to learn from each other and to build interoperability between our nations,” Captain Hutton said.
“They’re also a chance for us to give back to communities who have welcomed us to their home with open arms.
“The opportunity to conduct women-in-leadership workshops, provide medical training, and work with communities to rejuvenate local schools will be very special for the crews of Adelaide, Toowoomba and Success.
“But more importantly, these activities support our mutual interests in a safer, more prosperous region.”
As part of the visit, the crews will stand side-by-side with their Pacific and US partners to commemorate the loss of HMAS AE1, Australia’s first submarine which sank off the coast of Rabaul in 1914, and the sinking of HMAS Canberra during the WWII Pacific campaign.
These port visits follow successful engagement activities and military training exercises during port visits in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa [before their participation in Exercise RIMPAC, not mentioned in this release for some reason].
Success is due to arrive in Rabaul tomorrow.
Adelaide and Toowoomba are due to arrive in Honiara on Friday.
The Joint Task Group ships will return to Australia following these latest regional port visits [but no details of either the visit duration, departure or arrival dates were given].