Australian Indo-Pacific Endeavour returns in force

Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE), one of Australia’s key regional engagement activities, returns to Southeast Asia and the Northeast Indian Ocean from September to November this year, visiting a record 14 countries in this iteration.

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Indo Pacific Endeavour returns in force 01  IPE began in 2017 as an annual activity coordinated by the Australian Defence Force to deliver on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to strengthen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces. Aiming to promote security and stability in Australia’s near region through bilateral and multilateral engagement, training and capacity building. Australia is committed to making effective contributions to humanitarian and security efforts in the region (Picture source: Corporal Brandon Grey)

IPE will conduct activities with the Maldives, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.

Senior Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) representatives are meeting with senior officials in the Maldives this week to reaffirm Australia’s commitment to the Indian Ocean nation and the broader region.

Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity will include military exercises, workshops, training, sporting events, and cultural activities. It will deepen cooperation on issues ranging from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to gender, peace and security.

Senior ADF representative Air Commodore Nathan Christie said he was honoured to be part of the Australian contingent.

“IPE truly seeks to be a whole-of-Australian government flagship regional engagement activity, and it is excellent to have AFP representatives as part of the contingent,” Air Commodore Christie said.

“This week we will meet with our senior government counterparts, a Royal Australian Navy Chaplain will engage with Maldivian Imams and AFP and Australian Army personnel will meet with Maldivian defence members covering topics including close personal protection training.”

Air Commodore Nathan Christie emphasised the value of returning to in-country engagement with Australia’s near neighbours and highlighted that IPE is a key to achieving shared goals.

“As Indian Ocean neighbours, Australia and Maldives share interests in maritime security, trade, combatting transnational crime, and collaboration on the oceans and environment,” Air Commodore Christie said.

“We have a history of working together on human rights, terrorism and building democratic institutions, and I’m pleased to be meeting with senior Ministry of Defence counterparts to reaffirm the commitment to our shared goals.”

IPE 2022 includes five ships, 11 helicopters and nearly 1800 personnel conducting activities with 14 countries from September 26 and returning to Australia by mid-December.