After a busy year of activities in the West Australian Exercise Area and further afield, conducting Exercise Nichi Gou Trident with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, HMAS Dechaineux became the first foreign vessel to berth at the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Kota Kinabalu Naval Base Submarine Pier.
Commanding Officer HMAS Dechaineux, Commander Brad Francis, said this meeting with the Royal Malaysian Navy was one of many unequivocal events associated with the Royal Australian Navy strengthening ties with Malaysia.
“Visiting the Kota Kinabalu Naval Base and being granted permission to be the first visiting submarine to berth at the submarine pier was a true milestone.”
The Assistant Defence Adviser to Kuala Lumpur, Captain Doug Griffiths, and CMDR Francis were hosted by Captain Azhar Baharum, Chief of Staff of the Royal Malaysian Navy Eastern Fleet, and Captain Yusri Anwar, Chief of Staff of the Royal Malaysian Navy Submarine Force, for discussions on mutual areas of interest.
Officers and crew members from both nations then engaged in extensive discussions and knowledge sharing about submarine logistics, workforce matters, engineering and training.
The discussions were mutually beneficial, providing a greater understanding of Malaysian and Australian submarine capabilities and identifying future areas of cooperation.
“Having our two countries working together, mutually sharing and gaining a better understanding of our submarine capabilities is beneficial for both forces,” CMDR Francis added.
Following the discussions, both submarine crews attended a welcome lunch and “crew games”, which provided further opportunities to share experiences and strengthen relationships between the two forces.
Australia and Malaysia exercise regularly together through the Bersama series of exercises and Mastex activities.