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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 403. Updated Tuesday, 01 April 2014

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RAN pilots Indian Ocean talks

The Royal Australian Navy has been appointed chair of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium group of nations.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, was handed Chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium group at the opening of the biennial Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in Perth last week.

Vice Admiral Griggs said over three days participating navies at IONS 2014 discussed issues affecting the Indian Ocean, with a specific emphasis on protecting the ability to trade in the Indian Ocean maritime economy.

He said IONS was established in 2008 as a forum to increase maritime cooperation among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region.

Australia chairs naval group

"The Indian Ocean is one of the most strategically important bodies of water in the world, specifically with regard to trade," Vice Admiral Griggs said.

"Security and stability in the Indian Ocean is vital to Australia's economy and our way of life."

Vice Admiral Griggs said security in the Indian Ocean was a responsibility shared among all of the nations that had a maritime border on this strategically important body of water.

"Bringing all of these nations together to work in partnership is about working smarter to achieve our mission," he said.

IONS included more than 35 attendees and 23 member nations from four regional sub-groups known as the South Asian Littorals, West Asian Littorals, East African Littorals and South East Asian and Australian Littorals.

Vice Admiral Griggs said those world navies that had a strategic interest in the Indian Ocean region were also invited to participate as observers at the biennial seminars and annual workshops.

The IONS chair position rotates biennially through the four regional sub groups.

The seminar and Conclave of Chiefs in Perth this week mark the Royal Australian Navy's first official duty as chair nation.

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