Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Dechaineux has conducted the first official port visit by an Australian submarine to Brunei Darussalam.
CAPTION: The Sultan of Brunei talks to HMAS Dechaineux’s CO Commander Bradley Francis, with Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mick Noonan in the background. Photo courtesy of Brunei’s Information Department.
Dechaineux and her 59 member crew arrived at Muara Port on Saturday 7 March for a three-day visit as part of a regional deployment.
To mark the historic occasion, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan welcomed Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam and General of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Ibni and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah onboard HMAS Dechaineux to meet her crew.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds [who wasn’t there] said the visit was an opportunity for the Australian Navy to strengthen its partnership with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in the region.
“The visit by HMAS Dechaineux reinforces the strong relationship our countries have, and our shared understanding of the importance of protecting maritime security in the region,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Brunei Darussalam, like Australia, relies heavily on maritime trade for economic prosperity and both countries have a vested interest in protecting freedom of navigation to maintain open sea lanes.
“Our Defence relationship with Brunei Darussalam continues to grow through joint exercises with the Royal Brunei Navy, and common capabilities, including offshore patrol vessels.”
Minister Reynolds commended the crew of HMAS Dechaineux for their service and commitment.
“Our submarines are more capable and ready than ever before, operating in contested and complex areas,” Minister Reynolds said.
“This means our submariners are far away from Australia for long periods of time (sic), and I thank them for their sacrifice and contribution.”