The Australian Defence Force (ADF) begins a regional deployment to conduct exercises within Southeast Asia and Hawaii over the coming months. The Australian for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the regional deployment demonstrated Australia’s enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific and to the increasing capability of the ADF. Minister Reynolds said Australia’s participation in RIMPAC reflected the closeness of Australia alliance with the United States and the strength of our military relationships with participating nations. A number of ships will also sail for Hawaii to take part in the biennial RIMPAC, the world’s largest maritime exercise.
“It’s important during global challenges that Australia continues to demonstrate its commitment to its partners and to a secure and prosperous region. The ADF conducts regular military-to-military engagements throughout the Indo-Pacific every year. These engagements deepen Australia’s partnerships with security forces in the region and enhances our ability to operate with partner nations during security or humanitarian crises. Since the 1970s, Australia’s participation in RIMPAC has helped foster and sustain the partnerships that secure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Minister Reynolds said.
Once outside Australian waters, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships will refuel and resupply while underway in accordance with protocols that mitigate COVID-19 related risks. Commander of the Joint Task Group, Commodore Michael Harris, OAM, Royal Australian Navy, recognised the resilience of the personnel deployed and the contribution of their families and loved ones. “This deployment demonstrates our ability to conduct sustained operations as a joint force, and we acknowledge the support our families and friends without whom we cannot achieve these tasks,” Commodore Harris said.
RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii. It is hosted and administered by the United States Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, headquartered at Pearl Harbor, in conjunction with the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the control of the Governor of Hawaii. The US invites military forces from the Pacific Rim and beyond to participate. With RIMPAC the United States Indo-Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability among Pacific Rim armed forces, as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations.