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MUARA, Friday, 6th August 2021 – The 28th Bilateral Exercise HORNBILL Closing Ceremony was held at the Multi National Coordination Center (MNCC), Muara Naval Base this morning between the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) via video tele-conferencing.  Present during the closing ceremony was the RBN Fleet Commander (FC), Captain Khairil bin Haji Abdul Rahman, the Malaysian Defence Adviser to Negara Brunei Darussalam, Colonel Kamarudzaman bin Mohd Thani, as well as participating officers, men and women from the RBN.

The closing ceremony this morning began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, followed by short remarks from the RMN Deputy Eastern Fleet Commander (EFC), in which he touched on the value of maintaining professional relations despite the absence of physical contact during the Covid-19 pandemic. The RMN Deputy EFC also took the opportunity to congratulate the participants on a successfully executed Sea Phase, which fulfilled the planned objectives and was conducted safely. Following these remarks, the RBN FC gave a closing address, similarly highlighting the significance of this year's Bilateral Exercise with our Malaysian counterparts in the midst of a global pandemic, and the new normal life. The RBN FC then proceeded to conclude the exercise by officially deactivating Task Group 35. A video montage from both navies were played before the closing ceremony was wrapped up.

This year's edition of Bilateral Exercise HORNBILL took place between 02 until 06 August 2021, of which its conduct was aligned with the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures as laid out by the Ministry of Health, Negara Brunei Darussalam. Both the Harbour and the Post-Exercise Phases were carried out via video tele-conferencing, while the Sea Phase adopted the 'at-sea only' modality. Despite the absence of physical interactions and a port of call, a total of 4 ships and approximately 170 personnels took part in the Sea Phase, executing various serials that exercised seamanship, communications, warfare, gunnery and manoeuvring training. This successful conduct by KD KERIS and KD TODAK from the RMN, and KDB DARUTTAQWA and KDB BERKAT from the RBN, demonstrated both navies' understanding and interoperability.

The 28th series of Exercise HORNBILL fulfilled the objectives of enhancing mutual cooperation and understanding, and most importantly the relationship between both navies.