As Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 (IPE21) made its way through the Java Sea, foreign personnel from partner nations were given the opportunity to visit HMAS Anzac.

Four officers from the UK, Malaysia and Philippines transferred from the task group’s flagship HMAS Canberra for tours and capability demonstrations of Anzac as part of the deployment’s focus on fostering regional and international naval cooperation. 

Royal Navy Sub Lieutenant Bethany Blount was appreciative of the opportunity to experience life in the long-range frigate.

“The ship’s company of HMAS Anzac gave us a very warm welcome, provided us outstanding hospitality and gave us their valuable time to explain the capabilities of the wider task group,” Sub Lieutenant Blount said. 

Sub Lieutenant Blount and the others observed a simulated air defence exercise with Singaporean surface units and F-15 fighter jets, exchanged experiences with members of the ship’s company and got involved in an on-board casualty recovery exercise.

“All of the navies involved in IPE21 have similarities and common procedures, but visits like this while at sea allow us to identify those areas where we differ and build understanding on how to work better together in the future,” Sub Lieutenant Blount said.

“That’s what IPE for me is all about.”

Captain Constancio Reyes, from the Philippine Navy, was selected as Deputy Commander IPE21 and said the experience he and the other foreign sea riders had during the activity would be of great benefit.

“To have sea riders from a number of partner nations participate in Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 allows us all to foster greater understanding and interoperability between Indo-Pacific nations, as well as other nations further abroad,” Captain Reyes said.

“I am very pleased to be working with regional partners in a wide variety of ways as part of IPE21 as we work to maintain a secure, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific of independent, sovereign and resilient states, which benefits all nations.”

The foreign sea riders have been embarked in Canberra since the commencement of IPE21, having completed quarantine measures prior to joining the task group. 

Cross-decking activities between ships within the task group are conducted in a COVID-safe manner.