Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity, Indo-Pacific Endeavour, arrived in the Sultanate yesterday. During the visit, the Royal Australian and Royal Brunei Navies will conduct contactless and COVID-19 safe activities at sea to continue to build interoperability and strengthen the defence relationship. Australian ships will not berth at Muara Port and activities will be contactless.
Conducted since 2017, Indo-Pacific Endeavour is part of Australia’s long-standing programme of international engagement and aims to foster security, cooperation and partnerships in Australia’s immediate region. Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 is centred on an Australian maritime task group made up of HMA Ships Canberra and Anzac and involves some 700 people, including Australian Defence Force and civilian defence personnel, as well as participants from partner nations, such as Malaysia, the Philippines, France, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 engagements have been modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme will include activities with elements of the Brunei Government and with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, including through multiple workshops and information sharing activities and senior leader virtual calls.
Commander of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 Commodore Mal Wise said, “Australia’s defence relationship with Brunei has grown significantly in recent years. Our relationship is grounded in regular military exercises, senior level visits and annual dialogues, and Indo-Pacific Endeavour is another practical demonstration of our close ties. I look forward to the programme of virtual engagements with Brunei, to learning from the country’s experience and perspectives, and to making the engagement a success for our strengthening relationship.”
Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Tiffany McDonald welcomed the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 to Brunei. “Australia has a long and proud history of defence engagement with Brunei and it was Australian troops that liberated North Borneo, including Brunei, as part of Operation OBOE VI towards the end of WWII. I am pleased that Indo-Pacific Endeavour marks the third visit to Brunei by the Royal Australian Navy in 2021. The activities on the programme provide valuable opportunities to enhance interoperability, improve coordination, and to work with Brunei to support of a peaceful, inclusive and resilient region.”
The Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 engagement with Brunei has been planned in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence.