Royal Australian Navy starting Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018

The Royal Australian Navy is starting the second iteration of the large-scale regional engagement Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE 18), Australian defense minister Marise Payne has announced.

HMAS Adelaide (front) and HMAS Darwin sail with Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Supreme (right) off the coast of Singapore, during Indo Pacific Endeavour 2017. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

A Task Group that will deploy as part of IPE 18 is scheduled to depart Townsville on June 2.

Minister Payne said Indo-Pacific Endeavour is one of the ADF’s most important annual activities and represents a major contribution to regional security and stability.

The centerpiece of the IPE 18 Joint Task Group will be the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ship, HMAS Adelaide. Frigates Melbourne, Toowoomba, and tanker Success will be the other members of the group enhancing relationships, building partner capacity and improving military interoperability throughout the Southwest Pacific.

The last year’s edition of the deployment was also spearheaded by HMAS Adelaide.

“Our ability to respond rapidly to regional humanitarian and security challenges is based on strong and enduring relationships with regional militaries, governments and local communities,” minister Payne said.

“These relationships are forged through disaster planning, exercises and other military activities that enhance our ability to operate seamlessly with our partners in the Southwest Pacific.

“Indo-Pacific Endeavour provides the ADF with all of those opportunities.”

ADF personnel will carry out a series of engagement activities and military training exercises during port visits in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

The first port call for Adelaide and Melbourne will be Fiji, while Toowoomba and Success will visit Vanuatu.