The Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Childers arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh on Monday, 27 January in what is the first visit for many decades to the nation by the Royal Australian Navy, Acting Minister for Defence Senator George Brandis QC announced.
“As one of our Indian Ocean neighbours, Australia values its interaction with Bangladesh and this landmark visit is a significant milestone for our nations’ Navy-to-Navy relationship,” Senator Brandis said.
“With the globalisation of trade and commerce, both our nations are dependent on the sea. As a result, we have shared interests in maritime security, naval diplomacy and mitigating the effects of natural disasters with humanitarian aid and disaster response.
“This historic visit to Bangladesh will enable some increased understanding in how we each operate, which will lead to better interoperability in areas common to our navies.
“Australia and Bangladesh have conducted some minor naval interaction during regional bilateral activities in the past, but this is the first time an Australian Navy ship has visited the country.
“In addition to complementing vital logistical tasks, the port visit provides an opportunity for interaction between two active participants of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).
“IONS is the biannual event attended by the Chiefs of Navies from all Indian Ocean region states, including Australia, to promote shared understanding in maritime security. In 2014, the Royal Australian Navy Chief of Navy will assume the Chairmanship,” Senator Brandis said.
While in Chittagong from 27–31 January, the crew of HMAS Childers will conduct both professional cultural exchange activities and visit local sites of significance ashore.
HMAS Childers is en route to the Indian Navy-hosted activity Milan 2014 to be held in the Andaman Islands from 3–10 February 2014 and the International Maritime Seminar on Maritime Cooperation for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations.
During the transit to and from India, HMAS Childers is also conducting logistical and respite port visits in addition to Burma and Singapore.
Details about the Armidale Class Patrol Boat is available at: http://www.navy.gov.au/fleet/ships-boats-craft/pb.
Imagery is available through the Defence Image Library at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140095.
Mark Dodd (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 560
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999