HMS Albion hosts reception for dignitaries, British community

|     Aziz Idris     |

THE Royal Navy Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Ben Key CBE and British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay hosted a reception on board the UK Royal Navy warship HMS Albion on Saturday night.

Around 350 guests were invited for the reception on board HMS Albion, comprising high-ranking officials from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), members of the Diplomatic Corps, alumni of Britannia Royal Naval College (Dartmouth) as well as members of the British community in Brunei.

The guests viewed static displays of military equipment and vehicles used by the Royal Navy. They were also given a brief tour inside the belly of the warship.

HMS Albion, the Royal Navy’s flagship, is in Brunei waters on a three-day visit.

While in Brunei, the HMS Albion and her embarked Royal Marine contingent will participate in the Setia Kawan III Exercise, which will take place today. It will consist of a joint amphibious landing exercise involving the RBAF.

HMS Albion Commanding Officer Captain Tim Neild speaks at the reception while British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay looks on. – AZIZ IDRIS

HMS Albion’s Commanding Officer Captain Tim Neild told a press conference in the ship prior to the reception that HMS Albion’s deployment to the Asia-Pacific region and the separate deployments of HMS Sutherland and HMS Argyll this year are a clear demonstration of the United Kingdom’s (UK) commitment to contribute towards peace, security and prosperity in the region.

“Her deployment this year, together with other fleet in the Royal Navy, will involve a mix of bilateral and multilateral exercises as well as training with regional partners and allies in support of the maintenance of global norms of behaviour,” he said.

“HMS Albion’s passage, as with all Royal Naval deployments, has been conducted in full compliance with international law and norms.”

British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay said, “The presence of HMS Albion here demonstrates our deep and strong commitment to our bilateral relationship with Brunei; our persistent and enduring defence presence in the region; and our contribution to regional peace, security and prosperity.”

HMS Albion is the first of the Royal Navy’s two Albion-class amphibious assault ships. Her role is to deliver Royal Marines ashore by air and by sea, with landing craft from her internal dock and helicopters from her two-spot flight deck.