Australia to end naval presence in West Asia by end of 2020 as focus shifts closer to home
Australia says it will no longer send warships to the West Asia region on an annual basis after it pulled out its last frigate deployed there some four months ago, stressing that Canberra will end its naval presence in the region by the end of this year.
Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds made the announcement in a statement on Friday, noting that the sudden end of the country’s naval presence in the the West Asia region came as the Federal Government struggles with a growingly uncertain strategic environment closer to home.
Back in June, the Australian Defense Force (ADF) withdrew HMAS Toowoomba from West Asia and returned it home.
The frigate was the last Australian Navy ship deployed to the region under Operation MANITOU, which is the country’s purported contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability, and prosperity in the West Asia region (MER).