Australian ships arrive in Sri Lanka for defence engagement program

HMAS Canberra, the flagship vessel of the Royal Australian Navy, and HMAS Newcastle arrived at the Colombo port today (23 March) to take part in a defence engagement program with Sri Lanka under the Indo Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE -19).

Australia and Sri Lanka’s cooperation on shared maritime security interests in the Indian Ocean is set to rise to a new level with Indo Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19) – which will see the visit to Sri Lanka of an Australian Joint Task Group comprised of Navy, Army and Air Force assets, the Australian High Commission said.

Over 1,000 personnel on four vessels began arriving in Sri Lanka today.

Australian and Sri Lankan defence forces will work together on disaster assistance planning, naval manoeuvres and military training activities to improve cooperation, familiarity, and interoperability before the ships depart on 30 March, sailing for India.

IPE19 will be Australia’s largest ever defence engagement with Sri Lanka. It will see the HMAS Canberra and Newcastle dock in Colombo, while the HMA ships Parramatta and Success will dock in Trincomalee. Royal Australian Air Force assets will visit Mattala airport.

As Indo-Pacific nations, Australia and Sri Lanka are working together on the continuation of a rules-based regional order, where the Indian Ocean remains free, open and inclusive. (Colombo Gazette)

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