The 18th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) and International Fleet Review (IFR) 2022 was held in Yokosuka, Japan, from November 6 to 8, participated by Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) Commander First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Spry bin Haji Serudi @ Haji Seruji as head of delegation. RBN’s participation this year is made more significant by RBN’s inaugural deployment to Japan to attend the IFR 2022 to commemorate the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force’s (JMSDF) 70th anniversary.
The IFR 2022 was attended by Japan’s Minister of Defence Yasukazu Hamada as guest of honour onboard JS IZUMO to review ships comprising KDB DARULEHSAN, along with 36 other ships from Japan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
RBN Commander was also present onboard during the reviewing ship observing the IFR among other distinguished chiefs of navies and their representatives. Other activities in conjunction with the IFR included a Sea Phase exercise for Search and Rescue. Following that, whilst the ships are at the harbour, formal activities include a city parade, sports interactions and open ship tours. Following the IFR, the 18th WPNS was officiated on the November 7 by JMSDF’s Chief of Staff, Admiral Ryo Sakai at the Yokohama Royal Park Hotel. The 18th WPNS was held over two days from November 7 until November 8, where chiefs of navies in the Western Pacific congregated to discuss matters of mutual interest under the theme of ‘Free and Open Ocean for the Next Generation’.
On the sidelines of the 18th WPNS, RBN Commander also had the opportunity to conduct bilateral meetings with JMSDF’s Chief of Staff Admiral Ryo Sakai, the Royal Thai Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Admiral Cherngchai Chomcherngpat, the Philippine Navy’s Acting Flag-Officer-in-Command Rear Admiral Caesar Bernard N Valencia and the Republic of Singapore Navy Chief Rear Admiral Aaron Beng. The WPNS is a biennial event founded in 1988 that brings together navies from the Western Pacific region to streamline cooperation and discuss matters of mutual benefit to address common challenges. The 19th WPNS will be hosted by the People’s Liberation Army – Navy (China).
The RBN aligns with the objectives of the 18th WPNS and reaffirms its commitment towards building, strengthening and maintaining relationships, as well as enhancing interoperability between all participants towards a peaceful and stable regional maritime domain.
KDB DARULEHSAN departed from Yokosuka Base on November 9 and is scheduled to arrive at the Muara Naval Base in the Sultanate, on the November 17.