Is there more at play here other than dealing with illegal boat smugglers? Political Correspondent Bianica Hall who wrote the article “Julie Bishop apologises to Indonesia over breach of territorial waters” indicates that HMAS Stuart is believed to be “one of three Australian naval ships to have entered Indonesian waters”. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julie-bishop-apologises-to-indonesia-over-breach-of-territorial-waters-20140118-311eb.html I am sure that the ships commanders knew exactly where their ships were at all times given the technology that these navy ships have. This can be seen when looking at the specifications on the Royal Australian Navy website. http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-stuart-iii
This leads me to think that there might have been other reasons why the Australian Navy ships crossed the line on territorial waters given some of the articles researched by various Australian University professors. One such article was written in 2013 by Hugh White who is a professor of strategic studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University (ANU). The article is called “What Indonesia’s Rise Means For Australia” which can be seen on the following link. http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/june/1370181600/hugh-white/what-indonesia-s-rise-means-australia
If we back track a couple of years we would know that Australia has entered a military partnership with the USA in having a military base in Darwin to increase its military presence in South-East Asia against any future heightened concerns about China.
I couldn’t imagine that chasing illegal boat smugglers would require Australia using its elite naval fleet for such exercises unless there were other factors at play. Whose to know if perhaps another countries military vessel didn’t enter Australian territorial waters which required investigation by the Australian Navy?
It’s all operational so we wouldn’t know anyway. Hence my topic title “Speculation” because that’s all it is, but I do wonder though.