Indo-Pacific Endeavor is Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity, with the Task Group including personnel from all ADF services, Australian government agencies, as well as naval personnel from partner nations.

Commodore Mal Wise, Commander Indo-Pacific Endeavor 2021, along with Commanding Officers of HMAS Canberra, HMAS Anzac, HMAS Sirius, and members of his staff, are formally welcomed upon the arrival of the Task Group at Cam Ranh Bay.

Amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra, guided missile frigate HMAS Anzac, and fleet replenishment oiler HMAS Sirius arrived at Cam Ranh International Port as guests of the Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense. The IPE21 Task Group was warmly welcomed on arrival by the Second-in-Command Officer of Naval Region 4, Senior Captain Ho Thanh Hoa, as well as representatives from Military Region 5, the Vietnam Border Guard Command and the Australian Embassy. Following the official Welcome Ceremony Commander IPE21 Commodore Mal Wise met Senior Captain Hoa in a virtual courtesy call.

Guided missile frigate HMAS Anzac (150), fleet replenishment oiler HMAS Sirius (266), and amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra (L02), berthed at Cam Ranh Bay as part of their Indo-Pacific Endeavor 2021 port visit.

IPE21 is the first visit by RAN ships since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bilateral engagement program includes virtual exchanges on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations; gender, peace and security; maritime security cooperation; a linkup between young ADF officers and cadets from the VPN Academy; and will culminate in a maritime training activity between RAN and VPN vessels in the waters off Cam Ranh Bay, focusing on the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).

The Indo-Pacific Endeavor 2021 task Group is formally welcomed by Senior Captain Nguyen Thai Hoc, Deputy Chief of Staff of Naval Region 4, and other officers from the Vietnam People’s Navy, Military Region 5, Vietnam Border Guard, and the Australian Embassy Vietnam.

Commodore Wise said that the ability of Vietnam to host the Task Group during the COVID-19 pandemic was a demonstration of the depth of the Vietnam-Australia bilateral defense relationship. He remarked, “Indo-Pacific Endeavor provides a unique opportunity for us to deepen our practical naval cooperation, building on previous RAN ship visits to Vietnam, and is a good chance for us to exchange lessons learned on maritime security cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and on gender, peace and security. Vietnam’s commitment to host the Task Group during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates both of our nations’ commitment to a secure, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific.”

Guided missile frigate HMAS Anzac enters Cam Ranh Bay as part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavor 2021 port visit.

IPE 21 encompasses a wide range of activities, spanning disaster assistance planning, multinational naval maneuvers and military training serials with regional partners in Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. The activities are designed to foster greater understanding and interoperability between security personnel throughout the region in a COVID-19 safe manner.

Australia’s bilateral defense relationship with Vietnam also includes high-level visits and dialogues, professional military and post-graduate education, peacekeeping cooperation, maritime security engagement and counter-terrorism cooperation. Defense is a strong pillar in the Australia - Vietnam Strategic Partnership.

Reported by Chung Anh