Indian Ocean maritime security - a key focus

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), ABIS Chantell Brown (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, NSW

Topic(s): Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), Sea Power Conference

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, holds the floor, during the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs.  Australia currently holds the Chairmanship of IONS.  The regional forum was held during Sea Power 2015. (photo: ABIS Chantell Brown)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, holds the floor, during the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs. Australia currently holds the Chairmanship of IONS. The regional forum was held during Sea Power 2015.

Maritime security was top of the agenda at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium meeting of Chiefs, held during the Sea Power 2015 Conference.

Fifteen member nations and one observer nation took the opportunity to discuss common maritime issues facing littoral nation-states of the Indian Ocean.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, who is the current Chair of the Symposium said the forum is an important mechanism for regional dialogue.

“Maritime security architecture is shaped and reinforced by forums like Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, which build cooperation and agreement, security and stability,” he said.

Visiting Chiefs from International Navy's form the conclave of Chiefs during the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) held during Sea Power 2015.

Visiting Chiefs from International Navy's form the conclave of Chiefs during the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) held during Sea Power 2015.


“By having an open and inclusive forum of discussion, we strengthen our ability to respond quickly and effectively in a multilateral framework, to maritime issues that impact our region.

“During the meeting of Chiefs, working groups updated topics of interest including counter-piracy, humanitarian aid and disaster relief and information sharing and interoperability.

“As the Minister for Defence Marise Payne identified in her address at Sea Power Conference this week, the future prosperity of all the people of our region depends, to a large degree, on maritime security and marine resource protection,” he said.

The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium is a voluntary initiative that includes 22 nations that permanently hold territory that abuts or lies within the Indian Ocean, and four observer nations.

Delegates pose for a photograph before the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs.  The regional forum was held during Sea Power 2015.  Australia currently holds the Chairmanship of IONS.

Delegates pose for a photograph before the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs. The regional forum was held during Sea Power 2015. Australia currently holds the Chairmanship of IONS.


“With the growing significance of resources in the Indian Ocean, maritime security will remain a key focus,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.

“It is our role to maintain good order and justice at sea - above, on and under, to help promote peace and prosperity.

“The Symposium is an essential part of that security architecture - through the forum, we foster collaboration and interdependence, so we are prepared to provide coordinated responses to shared international challenges.”

Australia holds the Chairmanship until the next Conclave of Chiefs, being held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in January 2016.