Australian warship HMAS Toowoomba is making a port visit to Chennai from May 10-15 as part of Australia’s commitment to engage with Indo-Pacific nations and promote regional maritime security and cooperation, a press release from the Australian Consul-General said.
The visit of the warship, commanded by Commander Mitchell Livingstone, follows the success of AUSINDEX19 that saw the largest ever Australian Defence Force Joint Task Force deployed to India.
As part of Toowoomba’s current deployment, the ship will participate in Exercise La Perouse in the Bay of Bengal, which aims to enhance interoperability, build partner capacity and strengthen professional relationships with regional nations, the release said. During the five-day stay, the Commander and the ship’s crew of 184 officers and sailors will experience the culture of southern India. Commander Livingstone is an alumnus of the Indian Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and graduated in 2013.
“Our visit to Chennai presents a great opportunity to further strengthen relations with our Indian Ocean neighbours, soon after the success of AUSINDEX 2019, while enabling many of Toowoomba’s newly-joined Junior Sailors their first opportunity to experience the vibrant culture of southern India,” Commander Livingstone said.