The Royal Australian Navy has conducted the first official port visit by a submarine to Brunei.
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HMAS Dechaineux arrived at Muara Port on Saturday, 7 March with her 59 member crew for a three-day visit as part of a regional deployment.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the visit was an opportunity for the Australian Navy to strengthen its partnership with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in the region.
“The visit by HMAS Dechaineux reinforces the strong relationship our countries have, and our shared understanding of the importance of protecting maritime security in the region,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Brunei Darussalam, like Australia, relies heavily on maritime trade for economic prosperity and both countries have a vested interest in protecting freedom of navigation to maintain open sea lanes.
To mark the historic occasion, the Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, welcomed Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam and General of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah onboard HMAS Dechaineux to meet her crew.
“Our Defence relationship with Brunei Darussalam continues to grow through joint exercises with the Royal Brunei Navy, and common capabilities, including offshore patrol vessels,” said Minister Reynolds.
Minister Reynolds commended the crew of HMAS Dechaineux for their service and commitment.
“Our submarines are more capable and ready than ever before, operating in contested and complex areas,” Minister Reynolds said.
“This means our submariners are far away from Australia for long periods of time, and I thank them for their sacrifice and contribution.”
Dechaineux, the fourth Collins Class submarine enter service, was launched in Adelaide by Captain Emile Dechaineux's widow, Mary Purbrick, on 12 March 1998 and commissioned at Fleet Base West on 23 February 2001 along with the fifth Collins Class submarine, HMAS Sheean.
HMAS Dechaineux's operational characteristics and range have been tailored specifically for its defence and two-ocean surveillance role in the RAN.
Since commissioning, HMAS Dechaineux has successfully conducted a range of activities throughout the region in support of Australian Defence Force exercises, operations and the government's strategic directives, according to the RAN Website.