Departing Australia in late August, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 (IPE21) will provide an opportunity for Australia to engage with Southeast Asian partners beyond traditional military activities, with supporting elements from across the Australian Government. 

We aim to conduct meaningful activities, despite the restrictions of COVID-19, and provide a foundation for future mutually supportive activities.

The Task Force will be centred on two Royal Australian Navy ships, with participation by additional units and personnel from across the Australian Defence Force and Australian Government.

Commencing in 2017, Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) is an annual Australian Defence Force (ADF) activity which delivers on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to strengthen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces.

IPE promotes security and stability in Australia’s near region through bilateral and multilateral engagement, training and capacity building. Australia is committed to making effective contributions to humanitarian and security efforts in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia’s vision for the Indo-Pacific is a region that is secure, open, prosperous and resilient.

Australia’s commitment to IPE varies each year. It has involved more than 1200 personnel, four ships, aircraft and army elements in the past.

IPE did not occur in 2020 due to COVID-19.

As the Commander of Australia’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021, I look forward to leading a highly capable Task Force into Southeast Asia in the latter half of the year. 

This is Defence’s flagship engagement activity in Southeast Asia and represents a whole-of-government commitment to further strengthening our regional partnerships. 

As a Royal Australian Naval Officer of 36 years, much of my early career at sea was spent in the region and I look forward to the opportunity to connect with friends, colleagues and partners.

I acknowledge that COVID-19 presents significant challenges to international engagement activities. In spite of this, I look forward to working with our partners to maximise opportunities to safely interact and lay the foundations for future engagement.

Commodore Mal Wise AM, RAN