ASIA BECKONS FOR NAVAL TASK GROUP

The Royal Australian Navy has begun its largest deployment of the year with more than a thousand sailors and officers bound for engagements across North and South East Asia.

Departing today from Sydney, the lead element of a nine ship Task Group will participate in bilateral and multi-national activities over the next four months.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said the deployment is focused on strengthening Australia’s regional defence engagement through practical cooperation activities with key partners.

“From high end warfare exercises, port visits as well as cultural engagements, this major deployment demonstrates again Australia’s long standing commitment to our partners and regional security,” Minister Reynolds said.

The naval task group deployment marks the first overseas deployment for the new Aegis Destroyer, HMAS Hobart, which will lead the first Task Group element to Japan for an International Fleet Review.

Hobart will be accompanied in Japan by Anzac Frigates HMAS Parramatta and Stuart as well as a Navy submarine.

HMAS Stuart will later join the Armidale Class patrol boat HMAS Ararat, the replenishment ship HMAS Sirius, and the hydrographic Survey ship HMAS Leeuwin during their deployment to South East Asia.

The Anzac Frigate HMAS Arunta will then join Sirius in exercises with a range of regional partners including Malaysia and Indonesia.

Navy Mine Hunters HMAS Gascoyne and HMAS Diamantina will participate in international exercises for the final element of the Task Group.

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