Bid to build regional security, stability

Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne. Picture: DFAT

ABOUT 1000 personnel from the Australian Defence Force will be in Fiji next week as part of the Australian Government’s commitment in deepening it’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces.

Australian Minister for Defence senator Marise Payne, in a statement released by the Australian Department of Defence today, said the tour was part of the 2018 iteration of Indo-Pacific endeavour, which will feature four vessels departing Australia for Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

This is a major annual maritime activity that delivers on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to deepen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces.

HMA Adelaide and HMA Melbourne will visit Fiji while the HMA Toowomba and HMA Success will visit Vanuatu.

“Our ability to respond rapidly to regional humanitarian and security challenges is based on strong and enduring relationships with regional militaries, governments and local communities,” Ms Payne said.

“These relationships are forged through disaster planning, exercises and other military activities that enhance our ability to operate seamlessly with our partners in the Southwest Pacific.”

ADF personnel will carry out a series of engagement activities and military training exercises during port visits in these countries.