Australian and Malaysia marked 25 years of Defence cooperation last week with a port visit and amphibious exercise as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 17.
On her maiden South East Asia deployment, HMAS Adelaide and the guided-missile frigate HMAS Darwin received a warm reception from the Royal Malaysian Navy in Port Klang, Malaysia, while HMAS Toowoomba was welcomed to Lumut to support MASTEX 17.
Adelaide’s arrival drew significant interest with around 900 visitors taking the opportunity for a closer look at one of the Royal Australian Navy’s largest ships during the four day visit.
Over 100 Malaysian Armed Forces personnel and vehicles also participated in an amphibious demonstration with a sea-ride in Adelaide’s landing craft providing a hands-on experience of the Australian Defence Force’s amphibious capability.
Commander of Joint Task Group 661.1, Captain Jonathan Earley, RAN, said the exercise was an important activity for both countries.
“This is the first time the Malaysian Armed Forces have had the opportunity to work with Adelaide,” Captain Earley said.
Now in its 25th year, the Malaysia-Australian Joint Defence Program is one of Australia’s key bilateral cooperation programs and the amphibious exercise demonstrates the strong maritime and security ties between the two countries.
The exercise also provided a practical opportunity for the two militaries to further enhance interoperability and cooperation, particularly following a natural disaster.
“The humanitarian aid and disaster relief training and the strong bilateral engagement during this visit illustrates how much Australia values its long-standing and close relationship with Malaysia.”
Indo-Pacific Endeavour 17 includes six ships and over 1300 personnel, making it the largest coordinated task group to deploy to the region in more than 40 years.
The 11-week deployment will strengthen military cooperation with some of Australia’s key regional partners including Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.