| James Kon |
THE Commander of Royal Brunei Navy (RBN), First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz bin Haji Mohd Tamit, represented the RBN at the recently concluded 21st International Sea power Symposium (ISS 21), the world’s largest gathering of Naval leadership. The symposium provided a platform for group and individual discussions for more than 100 countries this year.
Held at Newport, Rhode Island from September 16 to 19, the biennial event was hosted by the United States Navy and US Naval War College. Among those attended were 72 heads of navy, 21 heads of coast guard and 14 presidents of naval war colleges.
The Commander of Royal Brunei Navy was accompanied by his spouse, Datin Sakdiah Haji Mohd Noor, and the Defence Attaché of Brunei Darussalam in the US, Colonel (L) Zil Husam bin Haji Abdul Rahman, as well as officers from the Royal Brunei Navy.
The President of US Naval War College and Ray Mabus, US Secretary of the Navy, gave their welcoming remarks to the delegation. The symposium was officially launched by Admiral Jonathan Greenart, Chief of Naval Operations and the sponsor of this year’s event.
During the three-day symposium, delegates took part in several panel discussions relating to current, vital maritime topics such as “Future Trends in Maritime Security”, “Enhancing Coalition Operations”, and “Implications of Climate Change on Maritime Security” focusing on the theme of “Global Solutions to Common Maritime Challenges”.
There was also a report on the search for the missing plane MH370.
There were also sessions to address specific geographic challenges navies face. In addition to the talks, four ships were in port during the symposium – USNS Choctaw County (JHSV2), USS Harford (SSN 768), USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) and USS Arlington (LPD 24), which were available for the delegates to visit.
The Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy and his spouse attended a welcome reception hosted by the President of US Naval War College and his spouse at Rosecliff Mansion. They also attended a reception along with the entourage aboard the USS Arlington.
The symposium ended on a positive note with the valedictory remark of Admiral Greenert. He highlighted that the four takeaways that attendees agreed on are important topics for future action – Cyber: How information concerns are addressed by the group; Cues: Developing a code for unplanned encounters at sea when the unexpected happens; Information Sharing: How different information platforms can work better together; and Best Practice: Posting and sharing what works and what doesn’t for all participants to access.
The biennial ISS was first held in 1969 in Newport and was designed to allow naval leaders from around the world to meet and discuss common issues they face, to address these issues and ultimately find solutions for them.
The next ISS is scheduled for 2016 in Newport.