For the first time, the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3) took part in the bilateral and multilateral exercises in Makassar, Indonesia thus reinforcing the U.S.-Indonesia partnership.
The U.S. Navy joined more than 30 nations for the Multinational Exercise Komodo 2018 on and in the waters near Lombok Island, Indonesia to be conducted from May 4-9.
The multilateral naval exercise Komodo 2018, hosted by the Indonesian Navy, kicked off in Lombok of Indonesia on May 5, local time.
The opening ceremony was held at the port at 8:00 on the morning. Admiral Ade Supandi, commander of the Indonesian Navy, announced the opening of the exercise and delivered a speech. The Indonesian Navy organized a traditional dance, parachuting and aerobatic performances for the ceremony.
U.S. assets participating in Komodo 2018 include staff from Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7, the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3), a P-8A Poseidon, a Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit (MDSU) detachment, U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy Seabees, and the U.S. 7th Fleet band.
Millinocket is one of three expeditionary fast transport ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, and will continue its mission of providing rapid intra-theater transport while providing a platform for theater security cooperation exercises and engagements.
The Makassar visit served to strengthen the U.S.-Indonesia partnership, while reinforcing mutual commitment to bilateral and multilateral exercises and future port visits in Indonesia.
“The U.S. Navy’s first-ever visit to Makassar is a result of the strong relationship we have with the nation and people of Indonesia,” said Navy Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. “Our continued visits to Makassar will enhance the U.S. Navy’s operational flexibility to remain forward-deployed while providing naval presence in cooperation with our regional partners.”
The exercise brings together navies from across the world to rehearse scenarios focused on collaborative solutions to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and maritime domain awareness.
“Komodo joins navies from around the world in a spirit of cooperation and friendship,” said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, Commander Task Force 73. “Today’s security challenges transcend borders and require collaborative security efforts. Komodo fosters meaningful relationships that enhance cooperation between navies on shared challenges through common values.”
The background of the exercise is the hypothetical scenario of terrorism, piracy, armed robbery and ethnic minorities being oppressed on an island. At the same time, natural disasters such as earthquake and volcanic eruption also occur on the island, causing serious social unrest. In accordance with the UN resolutions, a multinational naval combined fleet is dispatched to carry out humanitarian aid.
Commanding officer Long Juan of the Chinese naval fleet participated in the opening ceremony. Long signed on the commemorative inscribed board prepared by the Indonesian Navy along with naval officials of other participating countries.
Long said that the Chinese Navy is willing to work with other navies of the world to contribute to maintaining harmonious ocean environment, deepening exchanges, and promoting common development.