CHENNAI: A crew of 184 officers and sailors from Australian warship HMAS Toowoomba, led by Commander Mitchell Livingstone had a chance to experience the cultural diversity and hospitality of Chennai. The warship was here earlier this week to promote regional maritime security and cooperation. It was here from May 10 and left the city on May 15.
Toowoomba’s visit follows the success of AUSINDEX 19 which featured the largest ever Australian Defence Force Joint Task Force, comprising Navy, Army and Air Force assets.
These visits accord with the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper’s placement of India at the ‘front rank’ of Australia’s international partnerships.
This year, Toowoomba will deploy on Australia’s 68th rotation of maritime security operations in the Middle East as part of Operation MANITOU, a contribution of the Australian government to international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East. Toowoomba will take over from her sister ship HMAS Ballarat, currently deployed on rotation 67 of Operation MANITOU.
“The Chennai visit provided a great opportunity to 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,” said Commander Mitchell Livingstone.