Home Asia Pacific Australian Navy task force gets underway ahead of RIMPAC exercise

Australian Navy task force gets underway ahead of RIMPAC exercise

Royal Australian Navy
HMAS Stuart (foreground), Hobart and Canberra (background) departing Sydney early June 2020. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel began a regional deployment on July 5, to carry out exercises within Southeast Asia and Hawaii over the coming months.

The series of exercises will also see an Australian Navy task group sail for Hawaii to take part in the US-led biennial RIMPAC, the world’s largest maritime exercise.

“Since the 1970s, Australia’s participation in RIMPAC has helped foster and sustain the partnerships that secure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said.

“The exercise provides the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise and cultivate ties with the armed forces of Pacific Rim countries.”

The announcement comes after seven warships sailed early June from the Australian Navy’s Fleet Base East and Fleet Base West to undertake a range of training activities to test newly upgraded systems and exercise as part of a maritime task group.

HMA Ships Canberra, Hobart and Stuart departed Fleet Base East in Sydney, while HMA Ships Anzac, Arunta, Ballarat and Sirius sailed from Fleet Base West in Western Australia. The navy said that some these ships would form a task group to participate in RIMPAC.

“This deployment demonstrates our ability to conduct sustained operations as a joint force, and we acknowledge the support our families and friends without whom we cannot achieve these tasks,” Commander of the Joint Task Group, Commodore Michael Harris, OAM, RAN, added.