Three Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships are being deployed in the Indo-Pacific as part of Australia’s commitment to upholding peace in the region.
HMAS Brisbane and Toowoomba have departed their home ports as the RAN ramps up multilateral cooperation with other countries’ naval forces.
The two ships will be joined by HMAS Stalwart, currently in its homeport of Fleet Base West in Western Australia, in the coming weeks.
The vessels will sail across Southeast and Northeast Asia and will conclude their mission in December.
RAN General Maritime Operations Director Cdre. Mick Harris said that the mission is a welcome opportunity for Australia to strengthen bonds with its partner nations.
“We look forward to working with our regional partners at sea and ashore and building on existing relationships while demonstrating Australia’s resolve for a stable, peaceful, resilient and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” he said.
“Our sailors and officers will relish opportunities to meet Navy people from other nations as well as step ashore and experience different cultures, further increasing our mutual understanding as Indo-Pacific partners.”
The Australian Defence Force added that the deployment will include cooperative activities at sea and navy-to-navy engagements with other nations during exercises and port visits.
The deployment will involve around 500 RAN personnel, including helicopter teams from the Fleet Air Arm and additional command and support units.
During the deployment, the ships will also contribute to Operation Argos, an Australian Defence Force initiative that enforces UN sanctions on North Korea.
Argos is an international effort launched in 2018 and coordinated by the US Seventh Fleet, involving countries including Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the UK.
In September, two Royal Australian Air Force aircraft were deployed from Kadena Air Base in Japan to conduct air surveillance over North Korea and monitor illegal nuclear weapons development.