Chief of Indonesian Navy Admiral Ade Supandi speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA)
– The third Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo 2018 (MNEK 2018) began on Lombok island in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara on May 5.

The biennial event aims to strengthen friendship, build trust, and enhance coordination capacity among naval forces in humanitarian assistance and settlement of maritime security matters.

Themed “Readiness and Cooperation for Responding to Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Contingencies,” the Komodo drill 2018 is expected to promote collaboration among countries in the field, especially in giving early warnings to prevent disasters, mitigate damages, and increase emergency rescue.

Participating naval officers witnessed traditional performances such as parachuting, aircraft demonstration, and international fleet review with the participation of 50 ships of all kinds from countries, including Hospital Ship 561 of the Vietnam People’s Navy.

The Komodo exercise was initiated in 2014. This year’s event attracted naval representatives from 36 countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Russia, Japan, France, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, among others.

The same day, the Vietnamese delegation joined a mass parade in the Lombok region with street art performances and traditional dances reflecting the life of local people.

The drill is scheduled to run until May 9.-VNA