Australia, U.S. Navies strengthen maritime security in Indo-Pacific

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday hosted the Royal Australian Navy’s Chief of Navy Vice Adm. Mark Hammond at the Pentagon, Sept. 22.

During the visit, the two leaders focused on interoperability and their ongoing work to expand and strengthen maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Our partnership with Australia is rooted in our shared common values and friendship,” said Gilday. “Our history and like-minded goals allow us to work seamlessly together across a range of military operations to keep the seas open and free.”

Gilday and Hammond discussed progress of the trilateral security partnership signed in September 2021 known as “AUKUS”—referencing Australia, United Kingdom, and United States—which was implemented to develop and provide joint advanced military capabilities to promote security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Since the announcement, each of the participating countries have reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and more broadly to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion.

“We are excited for the future and are honored to work with the Royal Australian Navy day-in and day-out, committed to a warfighting force capable of assurance, deterrence, and the high-end fight,” said Gilday.

The U.S. and Australian navies share mutual interest in maintaining freedom of navigation and adherence to the rules-based international order.

The two navies conduct frequent cooperative deployments, and regularly operate together during flagship theater exercises like Pacific Partnership, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) and Australian-led Kakadu.

This was Gilday’s first in-person meeting with Hammond, who assumed command of the Royal Australian Navy in June 2022.

Photo credit: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday (left) meets with Royal Australian Navy’s Chief of Navy Vice Adm. Mark Hammond at the Pentagon, Sept. 22. 

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