On the morning of Saturday 23 March Australia’s largest ever defence engagement with Sri Lanka began.
Indo Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19) commenced with the arrival of a Joint Task Force comprised of Royal Australian Army, Navy, and Air Force assets and over 1,000 personnel.
HMAS Canberra and HMAS Newcastle arrived in Colombo port, and HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Success docked in Trincomalee port.
Sri Lankan Navy Commodore Sanjeeva Dias and Acting High Commissioner Jon Philp met and greeted Commander of the Joint Task Force, Air Commodore Richard Owen, on arrival.
After speaking with Philp and Commander of the Joint Task Force, journalists gathered at Colombo port to witness the arrival of the ships were taken on board HMAS Canberra to tour the vessel.
As Indo-Pacific nations, Australia and Sri Lanka are working together on maritime security interest in the Indian Ocean.
Australian and Sri Lankan defence forces will spend the next week working together on disaster assistance planning, naval manoeuvres and military training activities to improve cooperation, familiarity, and interoperability. Royal Australian Air Force assets will also visit Mattala airport.
Australia’s vision for the Indo-Pacific is a region that is secure, open, prosperous and resilient. Sri Lanka is a partner of choice for Australia and the first country visited on this multi-nation exercise.
After departing Sri Lanka, IPE19 ships and assets will visit other regional partners including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.