India to join Australia's largest military exercise in Indo-pacific region

Canberra, Mar 15: India is among a handful of countries to join Australia's largest defence engagement in the Indo-pacific region known as Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE-19).

The annual event will also see personnel from Australia and India taking part in the biennial bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX. 

Apart from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam will also take part in the military drill in order to focus on regional security cooperation and improving coordination among the partners.

In December, Australia's Defence Minister Christopher Pyne stated that engagement with India will form the core of IPE 19, Australian Defence Magazine reported. 

Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said that "the ministry attaches significance to building interoperability with key partners and improving coordination of humanitarian and security responses. 

“IPE 19 is a major regional engagement activity for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which delivers on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to strengthen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces. 

Our strong and enduring relationships with regional militaries, governments and local communities are critical to this.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Defence Industry Senator Linda Reynolds said "she was pleased with the level of engagement planned with Australia’s Indian Ocean Region partners over the next three months.

We are pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate Australian Defence capacity across the spectrum of ADF activities during IPE19, with defence industry representatives participating to highlight their products and services, she said.

The Indo-Pacific Endeavour 19 (IPE 19), now in its third iteration, has commenced with the departure of HMA Ships Canberra, Success, Newcastle, and Parramatta from Fremantle.

Over next three months 1000 ADF personnel will carry out a series of engagement activities and military training exercises. A Joint Task Group comprising Australian naval, army and air force assets and personnel will visit Sri Lanka as part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE-19). (UNI)