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Aussies are to conduct the biggest defence exercise with Sri Lanka this month

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor March 15, 2019 19:11

Aussies are to conduct the biggest defence exercise with Sri Lanka this month

One thousand Australian Defence Forces personnel & four Royal Australian Navy vessels are to visit Sri Lanka this month. The initiative called ‘Indo-Pacific Endeavour – 2019’ is a multilateral defence cooperation exercise which brings an ADF joint taskforce to Sri Lanka and several other South and South East Asian nations with the aim of strengthening ties with their militaries. This was revealed at a media conference held in Colombo today.

Acting Australian High Commissioner Jon Philip said that the Australian ships would undertake port visits in Colombo and Trincomalee, and Australian Air Force assets will visit Mattala.

Asserting that the two countries have shared interests, he said it would be a valuable opportunity for both countries to improve cooperation and familiarity with one another’s Defence Forces, and to explore opportunities to further promote regional stability. He asserted that Sri Lanka is a partner of choice for Australia.

Mr. Philip referred to Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper that acknowledged Sri Lanka’s location on a vital maritime corridor in the Indian Ocean. After the events in Sri Lanka, IPE19 ships and assets will visit other countries -India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Addressing newsmen Australian Defence Advisor, Captain Sean Unwin said this was the biggest defence engagement with Sri Lanka todate.

Sean Unwin said Australia-Sri Lanka defence relationship had grown steadily since 2015 with a strong focus on education and training, supporting the whole-of-government counter-people smuggling efforts and maintaining a rules-based order in the Indian Ocean. He said their engagements in Trincomalee will focus on the Navy-to-Navy engagement between their two countries with a particular focus on interoperability between clearance diving teams focusing on explosive ordinance disposal counter-IED techniques.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor March 15, 2019 19:11

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