The spirit of regional cooperation was alive and well as Australia’s annual flagship engagement activity, Exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023 (IPE23) visited Thailand from August 14-18.
CAPTION: Members from the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Center during a digital forensics practical exercise in Thailand for Exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavour. Story by Flight Lieutenant Nick O’Connor. Photos by Leading Aircraftwoman Annika Smit.
The Thai component of IPE23 focused on the ADF delivering a recruitment and retention seminar with the Royal Thai Armed Forces, while Australian government agencies (Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police) facilitated a four-day digital forensics workshop with the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Center.
Australian Defence Attaché to the Kingdom of Thailand Group Captain Ritchie Cunningham said the workshops provided excellent forums for the two-way exchange of information.
“Both the activities involved the sharing of lessons from one side to the other,” Group Captain Cunningham said.
“It’s been really great to have an exchange of ideas and information between the two nations.
“All in all it’s been an outstanding success, with both Thai and Australian teams coming together to share their respective experiences and enjoy working with each other.
“Importantly, there were some really strong relationships built between all the agencies; these relationships will endure for years.”
CAPTION: Regional Digital Forensics Specialist Lindsey Swan, from the Australian Federal Police, briefs members from the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Center during a digital forensics workshop.
Group Captain Cunningham paid tribute to all ADF and Australian Government agency representatives who facilitated workshops.
“The level of engagement from workshop participants was a testament to the professionalism and depth of knowledge the presenters conveyed in their presentations,” he said.
The Thailand visit built on the success of recent IPE23 visits to India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, Timor Leste, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The IPE23 program’s next stop is Laos, then will continue to Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Maldives, culminating with activities in Cambodia in late October.
Royal Australian Navy ships, Australian Army detachments and Royal Australian Air Force aircraft are supporting exercises and engagement activities, sharing information and providing training opportunities throughout IPE23.
Other agencies are also contributing to a range of activities, reflecting Australia’s whole-of-government commitment to regional stability and security.
Held since 2017, IPE directly supports the Government’s commitment in the Defence Strategic Review 2023 to invest in our regional partnerships, and work with our partners to contribute to the collective security of the Indo-Pacific.