Jun 16, 2013

Brunei - More foreign military troops, equipment arriving for exercise in Brunei

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, June 10 (Xinhua) -- More military troops and equipment are arriving in Brunei in support of the inaugural multi-national live military exercise, dubbed as ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (HADR & MM Ex).

The military exercise is scheduled to start from June 16, which is expected to see participation from ASEAN countries and its eight dialogue partners, the Defense Ministry of Brunei said Monday.

Earlier, China's transport ship called KUNLUN SHAN had arrived in Brunei's Muara commercial port to transport equipment and personnel required for the exercise. On Sunday morning, IL-76 aircraft from China has also landed at the Royal Brunei Air Force, Rimba Air Base. The IL-76 comprises 15 crew members and 34 passengers. The aircraft is transporting HADR medical equipment.

On Wednesday, these convoy of heavy vehicles will be traveling from Penanjong Garrison to exercise site in Temburong. The convoy will start at 4.00 a.m. where they will be traveling through Muara- Tutong highway, Jerudong Road, Mulaut-Limau Manis Road and Kuala Lurah Road, the Defense Ministry said.

On Sunday, Singapore's RSS ENDURANCE Class LSTs arrived and docked at the Royal Brunei Naval Jetty. The ship was unloading exercise support equipment such as heavy vehicles and personnel. on Monday morning, the equipment has been transported to the exercise site in Bangar, Temburong District using two of Singapore ' s Fast Craft Utility and two Royal Brunei Navy's Landing Craft.

Concurrently, the Philippines' aircraft C-130 has also arrived on Monday morning. The C-130 comprises 11 crew members, 17 passengers, and carrying HADR equipment such as one Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) with trailers, two outboard motors and an alternative inflatable boat.

The current tally for participating countries already in Brunei include China, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Throughout next week, arrivals of other supporting nations are expected via air and sea.

Brunei said earlier it is ready to host the exercise. This combined exercise will bring together more than 2,000 military personnel from the 10 ASEAN countries as well as the 8 Plus countries which include Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

The exercise is essentially a military-to-military cooperation exercise, designed to formulate and develop a common set of Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs). The exercise objective is to elevate military practical cooperation from ASEAN level to ASEAN Plus level, and build upon ASEAN militaries' experiences of previous exercises.

Essentially, the objective is to enhance military-to-military interoperability, coordination and cooperation amongst the 18 participating countries.

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