The 4th Multilateral Naval Exercise KOMODO (MNEK) was held in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Republic of Indonesia from 4 to 8 June 2023, bearing the theme “Partnership to Recover and to Rise Stronger”. The activities of the exercise revolved around promoting maritime cooperation and building relationships among the participating navies in the scope of disaster relief efforts and humanitarian operations. The Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) was represented by Captain Khairil Haji Abdul Rahman, RBN, RBN Fleet Commander. The RBN’s participation reflects its continuous participation since the exercise’s inception in 2014, a testament to the commitment and strong ties between the RBN and the Indonesian Navy (IDN).
The opening ceremony of the 4th MNEK was officiated by Admiral Yudo Margono, Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces at the Soekarno-Hatta Port, Makassar, followed by an International Fleet Review, which he, along with participating Chiefs of Navies and heads of delegation reviewed on board KRI BUNG KARNO.
The RBN Fleet Commander took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with Admiral Muhammad Ali, Chief of Naval Staff, Indonesian Navy, and Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Chief of the Royal Australian Navy. Amongst the agenda discussed included bilateral exercises, future engagements, and developing areas of cooperation. Sideline bilateral meetings were also held with Rear Admiral Sean Watt Jianwen, Chief of Republic Singapore Navy, and Vice Admiral Dato’ Pahlawan Hj Muhammad Ruzelme bin Hj Ahmad Fahimy, Commander Eastern Fleet, Royal Malaysian Navy.
The RBN delegation also attended the 5th International Maritime Security Symposium (IMSS), which was held in conjunction with MNEK. The symposium is a platform to share views and best practices amongst the participating navies. Discussions centred on developing maritime cooperation and exploring new avenues of collaboration between the navies and other relevant stakeholders, particularly in disaster relief efforts and humanitarian operations.
The event also featured a City Parade, social and recreational activities to foster bonds between navies, a tree planting ceremony, and the officiating of the MNEK monument containing signatures of all participating Chiefs of Navies and heads of delegation embedded at the base of the monument.
Held biennially, this year’s MNEK involved 35 countries and 38 ships. The countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkiye, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Viet Nam.