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INAUGURAL ASEAN - US MARITIME EXERCISE (AUMX) 2019 OPENING CEREMONY HELD AT THAILAND

THAILAND, Monday, 2 September 2019 – The inaugural ASEAN - US Maritime Exercise (AUMX) 2019 Opening Ceremony was held at Sattahip Naval Base, Thailand. The ceremony was co-officiated by Rear Admiral Sompong, AUMX Task Commander and Vice Admiral Whitesell, Deputy US Pacific Command (US PACOM). The Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) was represented by Commander Haji Nor Ariwwin bin Haji Ali, the senior representative of RBN.

The opening ceremony continued on with formal briefings to all representatives from ASEAN navies and United States Navy (USN) on the exercises being conducted and planned exercises throughout AUMX 2019. The aim of this exercise was to 'promote maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and overflight (and) unimpeded commerce … in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law'. The ceremony was concluded with dinner reception for the representatives from ASEAN navies and USN which was hosted by Royal Thai Navy at their naval base.

A total of eight warships, four aircraft and more than a thousand personnel from the US and all 10 ASEAN countries were taking part in the first AUMX which lasted five days, focusing around international waters of Southeast Asia and co-hosted by USN and Royal Thai Navy (RTN).

Throughout AUMX 2019, participants will undergo scenarios designed to reinforce interoperability in visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), maritime awareness, division tactics (DIVTACS) and maritime asset tracking. RTN's HMTS KRABI will serve as headquarters where representatives from the US and ASEAN navies have the privileges to oversee the entire exercise.

RBN also taking part in this inaugural maritime exercise by sending KDB DARULAMAN commanded by Commander Sonny Iskandar bin Rasani, RBN and a total of 64 personnel onboard.