Brunei naval ship departs for Qingdao to join drills


A total crew of 69 Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) personnel including attachments set sail on their vessel KDB DARULEHSAN on Monday to attend the Western Pacific Naval Symposium and join the Multilateral Maritime Exercise (MMEx) to be held in Qingdao, a port city in east China’s Shandong province.

It is the first time for Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) ship to set sail to China and first time to join the exercise. The deployment is led by Major (Navy) Willie, commanding officer of KDB DARULEHSAN.

Fang Xinwen (C), Charge d'Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and Senior Colonel Cheng Shaoying, Defense Attache of China pose a group photo with Royal Brunei Navy personnel on vesselKDB DARULEHSAN

During the ship send-off ceremony, Fang Xinwen, Charge d'Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and Colonel (Navy) Pengiran Norazmi, Acting Commander of RBN attended to bid farewell at the Muara port. Also presents were Senior Colonel Cheng Shaoying, Defense Attache of China, Lieutenant Colonel (Navy) Haji Yusuf, Fleet Commander, RBN officers and personnel as well as family members of the deployed personnel.

KDB DARULEHSAN will join other countries involving warships participating in the exercise at sea on April 24. The sea-phase includes a range of exercises; joint anti-hijacking, search and rescue and small arms firing.

The MMEx will be conducted amidst of the event of Western Pacific Naval Symposium 2014 (WPNS 2014) which will also takes place in Qingdao. WPNS is a forum where leaders of Pacific Ocean region navies could meet biennially to discuss cooperative initiatives to address regional and global maritime issues. WPNS 2014 will mainly be attended by the Chief Navies of WPNS members including First Admiral Dato Abdul Aziz, Commander of Royal Brunei Navy.

The participation of Royal Brunei Navy ship in the exercise will promote defense diplomacy with other participating navies especially the host navy. Promoting good defense diplomacy between the participating navies is important to enhance understanding, consensus, mutual trust as well as friendship. On the other hand, it is always a good opportunity for the deployed personnel to gain skills and experience whilst learning and understanding other cultures.

On the return journey route, KDB DARULEHSAN is scheduled to make a 4-day goodwill visit at Haiphong, Vietnam, to promote defense diplomacy and friendship before heading back and arrive in Brunei on May 5.