Top brass reaffirm Australia-US alliance, resolve to work with Indo-Pacific partners

By Melissa Coade

July 29, 2022

Chief of the Australian Defence Force, general Angus Campbell (c), US chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff general Mark Milley (r), and commander, US Indo-Pacific Command, admiral John ‘Chris’ Aquilino (l). (Defence)

Australian and US military bosses have underscored rules-based international order, peace, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific as a mutual priority at a joint press conference in Sydney. 

The Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defense (CHODS) Conference met on Thursday, bringing together Australia’s chief of the defence force General Angus Campbell and top US military officials.

At a press conference following the roundtable, Campbell, along with general Mark Milley (chair of the joint chiefs of staff) and admiral Chris Aquilino (commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command), said Australia and the US would boost their capabilities and interoperability through joint exercises and activities.

Force posture cooperation, in particular, would help achieve this, they added, citing Marine Rotational Force Darwin and Enhanced Air Cooperation activities. 

In a statement released by Defence, the military leaders said the procurement of nuclear-powered submarines via the AUKUS agreement would help Australia rise to regional security needs. 

“They resolve[d] to work with Indo-Pacific partners to enhance resilience and ensure all nations were empowered to make sovereign choices was emphasised by all leaders,” Defence said. 

“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 men added the Australia-US alliance would evolve to ensure it could support stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region. The alliance would also adapt to meet the changing strategic environment.

They also said work towards 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 – would 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,” Defence said. 


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AUKUS makes ‘unwavering’ pledge to peaceful, rules-based order

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