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Indo-Pacific Endeavour 22 wraps

written by Adam Thorn | December 2, 2022

A RAAF Globemaster loaded aid pallets at Wattay Airport in Laos during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022. (Defence, SGT David Said)

Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 (IPE22) has concluded after three months, ending one of Australia’s largest regional engagement activities.

It included a RAAF C-17A Globemaster delivering humanitarian relief supplies to Laos and a C-130J Hercules and crew conducting workshops with the Bangladesh Air Force.

In total, IPE 2022 involved engagements in 14 countries, including the Maldives, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia this iteration.

The contingent included a total of 1,800 personnel, five ships and 11 helicopters.

Exercise highlights included:

  • Disembarking two Australian Army Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles in Singapore for an urban-training serial at Singapore’s Murai Urban Training Facility.
  • Integration of Australian and Indonesian soldiers for amphibious beach landing on the island of Dabo Singkep, Indonesia.
  • HMAS Stalwart conducting Australia’s first replenishment at sea exercise with the Philippines.
  • Hosting Defence Industry Seminars aboard HMAS Adelaide in India, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
  • Integration of Australian and Bruneian soldiers for a small-boats amphibious landing demonstration on Penanjong Beach.


Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, AO, CSC, said IPE22 helped strengthen partnerships with Australia’s regional neighbours.

“Building on the Australian Defence Force’s robust and longstanding program of regional engagement, IPE22 is a clear demonstration of Australia’s enduring commitment to an open, inclusive and resilient Indo‑Pacific,” LTGEN Bilton said.

“Enhancing our relations with regional partners enables us to deepen our cooperation so we can work closely together when it counts.

“IPE22 provided a chance for our personnel to build personal links across the region, from meeting senior military commanders to visiting schools and communities. This helped deepen mutual understanding.”

The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III is a four-engine heavy transport aircraft that can accommodate huge payloads and land on runways just one-kilometre long.

That flexibility comes from its design, which mixes both high-lift wings and controls requiring just three onboard (pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster).

Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a ramp system at the back, while its floor has rollers that flip from flat to handle wheeled vehicles or pallets. RAAF owns eight, all operated by No. 36 Squadron and based at RAAF Base Amberley.

The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules, meanwhile, is the longest continuously produced military aircraft and has now been manufactured for more than 60 years.

In total, 48 have supported ADF operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor and Vietnam, and humanitarian disaster relief missions in Pakistan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific.

Australia obtained its initial batch in December 1958, becoming the first nation to operate the aircraft outside of the US Air Force.

The four-engine turboprop, medium-lift aircraft increased transport capability, and reduced reliance on piston-driven aircraft such as the C-47.

The latest J variant was first operated in 1999 by the RAAF.

Australian Aviation reported in November how Australia looks set to purchase 24 new versions of the Hercules for up to $10 billion to replace its ageing fleet of the iconic aircraft.

While Defence said it was committed to “replacing and expanding” the Lockheed Martin C-130, the US State Department seemingly gave away more details of a possible deal when it formally granted permission for the transaction.

If the agreement goes ahead, Australia would acquire the new ‘130J-30’ variant that adds more than 4 metres to the fuselage.

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