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Australian Navy brings flagship, 1,000 personnel to Phuket

PHUKET: Royal Australian Navy (RAN) flagship the HMAS Canberra dropped anchor in Patong Bay on Saturday (Apr 27), marking the beginning of a four-day stay in Phuket.

By The Phuket News

Monday 29 April 2019, 02:31PM

The helicopter carrier Canberra, which at 27,000 tonnes is the largest ship in the Royal Australian Navy, arrived in Phuket along with HMAS Newcastle as part of the Royal Australian Navy Indo-Pacific Endeavour 19 (IPE 19) deployment, which set sail from Fremantle in Western Australia on March 11.

A total of 1,000 personnel will carry out a series of engagement activities and military training exercises during port visits in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

“The Australian Defence Force (ADF) enjoys a long-standing relationship with security forces throughout South and Southeast Asia,” defense industry minister Linda Reynolds said in Freemantle.

“These relationships are strengthened by annual exercises and engagements, such as the Indo-Pacific Endeavour series.”

The first port call for the flagship of the group, landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra, was Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Now in Phuket, personnel on board the Canberra and the Newcastle will take part in local military exercises as well as key social projects.

Laguna Golf Phuket

Duirng their stay, Australian military personnel will work with the Royal Thai Navy, police and disaster-prevention agencies in a number of training activities, including a tabletop exercise on maritime security in which they’ll team up to solve a simulated search-and-rescue.

The Australian Ambassador to Thailand, Allan McKinnon, said the visit is an important opportunity to cooperate in security and stability for the region.

“Thailand is a very important security partner for Australia,” he said.

“Our cooperation spans defence, counter-terrorism, border protection, combatting transnational crime and preventing human trafficking and people smuggling.”

On land, personnel today assisted with the clean-up on Koh Siray. As mentioned in previous articles by The Phuket News – Trash Talk and Stirrings of Change (see stories here and here) – Koh Siray is the poorest area of Phuket, home to around 10,000 people, including a village of 1,000 sea gypsies, Myanmar fishing workers and disadvantaged families with very poor housing.



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Kurt | 29 April 2019 - 21:23:41

Sorry Foot,  March elections are , we are now almost in month May, not brought any democratic results with respect for the voters. World wide it is seen more and more as the time pass by as charade. Much as the thai population expected.

Kurt | 29 April 2019 - 16:13:19

When is the thai navy flagship, that helicopter carrier paying a social visit in return to Australia, and her thai crew do in return some 'good samaritan works' over there ashore as well? 

Foot | 29 April 2019 - 14:51:03

It was always fun when the U.S. Navy would visit Phuket 3 or 4 times a year.  They stopped coming while waiting for elections.  Maybe, they'll return, now.

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