March 26, 2019 – As the INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR Task Force approached Sri Lanka, Australian Navy and Army teams prepared for diving, demolition and explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) training with regional partners.
Platoon commander of the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) embarked in Canberra for IPE19, Army Lieutenant Benjamin Selby, said the activity would encompass a wide range of joint training activities in preparation for military training serials with regional partners.
“Working with our enabling partners drawn from across the ADF allows the IPE Task Force to deliver a world-class joint pre-landing force capability,” Lieutenant Selby said.
“The force conducts littoral reconnaissance and battlespace shaping operations, so understanding the Navy’s clearance diving capabilities is integral to strengthen our interoperability as a joint force.
“The actions of the joint pre-landing force set the conditions for the ADF and coalition forces to conduct amphibious lodgement for a variety of operations including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, stability operations and, if required, deploying to a hostile environment.”
Navy mine clearance diving officer Lieutenant James Leeds said the importance of knowledge sharing and joint training exercises among ADF personnel showcased Australian defense capabilities and services to host nations.
“This type of interaction with our brethren from 2RAR is valuable as we proceed towards Sri Lanka and beyond to conduct engagement activities with our international partners,” Lieutenant Leeds said.
“We will be conducting a number of diving, demolition and EOD serials with our regional counterparts, allowing us to build capacity and interoperability.
“This is the first opportunity Australian clearance divers have had to work with the Sri Lanka defense forces and we look forward to training with them so we can learn from each other,” he said.
IPE19 aims to strengthen relationships and promote security and stability with Australia’s key regional partners, including Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
Military-to-military engagement develops shared understanding, trust and capacity to respond to a full spectrum of real world incidents in the region.
HMA Ships Canberra, Success, Newcastle and Parramatta are joined by force elements from Army, Air Force and representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.