A demanding year for the naval domain has seen the conclusion of a three-decade RAN presence in the Middle East and planning underway for an increased focus, as set out in July’s Defence Strategic Update, on the Indo-Pacific and Australia’s immediate region.
While Australia remained prepared to make military contributions elsewhere, Prime Minister Scott Morrison disclosed that Defence had been directed to prioritise the ADF’s geographic focus on the area ranging from the northeast Indian Ocean, through maritime and mainland Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea and the Southwest Pacific.
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