The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) have concluded the bilateral Exercise Pelican. Held from 27 to 29 July 2020 in the Philippines Sea, the exercise saw the participation of RSN’s Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme and RBN’s Darussalam-class patrol vessel KDB Darulehsan.

This year’s exercise, the 39th in the series, was conducted at sea with no physical interaction between personnel from both navies due to the current COVID-19 situation. The two navies focused on building interoperability through the conduct of various exercise serials, including coordinated gunnery firing, manoeuvring and communication exchanges.

Republic of Singapore Navy sailors lining the deck for the sailpast with KDB Darulehsan to conclude the exercise. (Picture source: Republic of Singapore Navy)

Highlighting the importance of the exercise in reinforcing the strong ties between the RSN and RBN, Commanding Officer of RSS Supreme, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Chua Eileen said, “Exercise Pelican has once again allowed us to interact with close friends whom we have developed relationships with over the years. Out at sea, it is these time-tested partnerships that allow us to operate well together, and support each other should the need arise. The good understanding that we established between our navies enabled us to plan and conduct an exercise at sea without any physical meet-ups.”

Commanding Officer of KDB Darulehsan, Commander (CDR) Haji Edy Jofren bin PDP DP Haji Abd Jalil added, “The RBN and RSN have a special relationship that has developed from our commitment and participation in Exercise Pelican since its establishment in 1979. It is indeed an important avenue for enhancing interoperability, capacity building and most importantly forging ties and friendships amongst RSN and RSN personnel at all levels.”

Established in 1979, Exercise Pelican underscores the close and long-standing defence ties between Singapore and Brunei. The exercise enhances mutual cooperation, understanding, and interoperability between the RSN and RBN. Besides Exercise Pelican, the RSN and RBN also interact regularly through a range of activities, including visits and professional exchange programmes. These interactions have reinforced the strong bonds between the personnel from both navies.

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