CHENNAI: An Australian warship HMAS Toowoomba has docked at the Chennai port here as part of the Australia's commitment to promote regional maritime security and cooperation between the two countries.
Toowoomba's six-day visit to the city follows the success of AUSINDEX 2019 which featured the largest-ever Australian defence force to visit India, a press release from the Australian Consulate said here.
The visit of warships is in line with the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper's placement of India at the 'front rank' of Australia's international partnerships.
Toowoomba would participate in 'Exercise La Perouse' in the Bay of Bengal aiming to enhance interoperability, build partner capacity and strengthen the professional relationships with regional nations, the release said.
The ship is commanded by Commander Mithcell Livingstone who is an alumnus of Indian Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
He is heading a 184 officers on-board the ship.
On the visit to Chennai, Livingstone said, "Our visit presents a great opportunity to further strengthen relations with our Indian Ocean neighbours soon after the success of AUSINDEX 2019 while enabling newly joined Junior Sailors their first opportunity to experience the vibrant culture of Southern India".
Australia and India have a shared commitment to safe and open access to the Indo-Pacific region, fostering trade and commerce.
To assist the process, the government of Australia routinely commits a Royal Australian navy vessel and personnel to support the US-led combined maritime forces to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, encourage regional cooperation and promote a safe maritime environment, the release said.
Toowoomba would be here till May 15, the release added.