Home Asia Pacific Australia begins flagship maneuver Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Australia begins flagship maneuver Indo-Pacific Endeavour

HMAS Canberra
HMAS Canberra departs the Port of Darwin, Northern Territory, for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy landing helicopter dock (LHD) HMAS Canberra and frigate HMAS Anzac set sail from Darwin on August 26 to start Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21 (IPE21).

The exercise is one of Australia’s most prominent and high-profile activities in the region.

Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said the deployment reinforces Australia’s strong and enduring partnerships in Southeast Asia.

“The 2020 Defence Strategic Update underlines Australia’s commitment to security cooperation and partnerships in our immediate region,” Lieutenant General Bilton said.

“Indo-Pacific Endeavour delivers on this commitment. It is a powerful way for the Australian Defence Force to demonstrate Australia’s support for a peaceful, inclusive and resilient region.

“The Australian Defence Force has found ways to continue its regular schedule of regional outreach, cooperative training and information sharing, despite the limitations imposed by COVID-19.”

Centered on a maritime task group, IPE21 involves approximately 700 people, including Australian Defence Force and civilian defense personnel, and sea riders from partner nations.

Engagements have been modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be carried out primarily through contactless port visits, including a range of virtual workshops and at-sea activities.

Commander of the IPE21 Task Group, Commodore Mal Wise, said while the deployment would remain contactless, the opportunities to conduct engagements are meaningful.

“I look forward to leading this task group, working with our partners and building a foundation for future mutually supportive activities when the pandemic eases,” Commodore Wise said.

“We also look forward to providing a platform to exchange views on important regional issues such as maritime security, gender, peace and security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

The ships are due to return to Australia in November.