Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 Completes Sri Lanka Visit
The Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE 19) Joint Task Force has departed Sri Lanka following Australiaâ€™s largest Defence engagement activity with the nation.
Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said IPE 19 was a valuable opportunity for both countries to improve cooperation between their nationsâ€™ Defence Forces.
â€œAustralia enjoys a long-standing relationship with Sri Lanka â€“ over 70 years of close diplomatic ties â€“ and both nations play an important role in the security and stability of the Indian Ocean region,â€ Minister Pyne said.
â€œSri Lanka and Australia share a responsibility for contingency responses to humanitarian and disaster events in the region, so it is important that these exchange activities formed a key part of the visit.
â€œThe economic prosperity of the region is built upon open lines of communication, stability through a rules-based order and mutual understanding.
â€œIPE 19 is the Australian Defence Forceâ€™s (ADF) premier international engagement activity, designed to enhance such mutual understanding.â€
HMA Ships Canberra and Newcastle arrived in the capital Colombo on 23 March, while HMA Ships Success and Parramatta visited the north-eastern port city of Trincomalee.
Commander of the IPE 19 Joint Task Force, Air Commodore Rick Owen said Sri Lanka was an appropriate commencement point for IPE 19â€™s international visit program.
â€œAustralia and Sri Lanka are neighbours. We share the great Indian Ocean and its resources between our shores,â€ Air Commodore Owen said.
â€œOur engagement program provided us with excellent opportunities to learn from our Sri Lankan hosts, while sharing some of the capabilities the ADF has deployed on IPE 19.
â€œIPE 19 is the ADFâ€™s major regional engagement activity, delivering on the promise of the 2016Defence White Paper to strengthen Australiaâ€™s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces.â€
The Joint Task Force will head to India next, to take part in the bilateral AUSINDEX maritime exercise.