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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Australian Government - Department of Defence

Australia and United States military leaders reinforce shared commitment to free and open Indo-Pacific

28 July 2022

Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Chris Aquilino addressed the media during their attendance at the Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defense (CHODS) Conference in Sydney.

During the press conference the three leaders reinforced the focus of the Australia-United States Alliance on preserving the rules-based international order and maintaining peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

The leaders underscored the deep relationship between Australia and the United States and discussed the growing importance of force posture cooperation, including the Marine Rotational Force Darwin and Enhanced Air Cooperation.

The expanded cooperation between Australia and the United States, through enhanced force posture cooperation, was recognised as being a tangible example of how both nations can enhance capabilities and interoperability through joint exercises and activities.

The resolve to work with Indo-Pacific partners to enhance resilience and ensure all nations were empowered to make sovereign choices was emphasised by all leaders. They highlighted the importance of deep and enduring investment in the Indo‑Pacific, working closely with regional partners on issues that matter to them. In this regard, they acknowledged the importance of enhancing engagement on climate change.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to evolving the Alliance, ensuring it can meet the changing strategic environment and support stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

The leaders said combined efforts through AUKUS to assist Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines would enhance Australia's ability to better support the shared goal of a secure Indo-Pacific.

They also highlighted the importance of work under AUKUS Advanced Capabilities on other critical capabilities, including undersea warfare, quantum technologies, electronic warfare, hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, artificial intelligence and autonomy and advanced cyber - emphasising the need to maintain momentum in the deteriorating strategic environment.

The leaders said they looked forward to further cooperation, together, and with regional and global partners, to advance their shared objectives of a prosperous and secure region.

Media contacts

Email: media@defence.gov.au

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