51 War Vessels to Participate in Lombok Naval Exercise
Around 5,500 navy personnel from 37 countries are set to participate in the 2018 Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK), which will be held in Lombok waters, West Nusa Tenggara.
Taking place from May 5 to 9, the event will present 51 war vessels, three fixed-wing aircraft and eight helicopters.
“Out of a total of 51 war vessels, 35 units belong to the Indonesian Navy while 16 others are from our [allies],” said the Indonesian Navy’s Eastern Fleet spokesperson Lt. Col. Suratno on Tuesday.
He said currently, the Indonesian Navy was finalizing preparations of the MNEK 2018, which will be centered at Lembar Port waters, West Lombok, NTB. War vessels will begin to enter Lembar waters on May 4.
Suratno said the MNEK was a biennial joint naval exercise between the Indonesian Navy and the navies of other countries. It will be the third time for Indonesia to host the event.
In 2014, the MNEK was held in Batam, Anambas and Natuna waters while in 2016, it was held at Padang and Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra.
“The number of its participants has continued to increase. Around 4,000 navy personnel from 34 countries participated in the MNEK 2016, and this year, 37 countries with a total 5,500 personnel will participate in the event. This will bring a positive impact to promote tourism in Lombok,” said Suratno.
This year’s MNEK is themed “Cooperation to respond [to] disasters and humanitarian issues”.
“This joint exercise aims to strengthen naval cooperation among countries in tackling disaster and humanitarian problems, especially those that occur in the sea,” said Suratno.