Ships from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the Indonesian Navy conducted their first joint exercise in the Gulf of Aden earlier this week.

The Royal Navy frigate HMS Northumberland, currently on maritime security duties as part of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), and the Indonesian corvette KRI Diponegoro performed a series of anti-piracy drills during the sea phase of the exercise.

HMS Northumberland's Commanding Officer, Cdr Paddy Dowsett RN, bids KRI  Diponegoro farewell
HMS Northumberland’s Commanding Officer, Cdr Paddy Dowsett RN, bids KRI Diponegoro farewell after a successful exercise.

Meanwhile, staff officers from both forces met in Salalah, Oman for a programme of professional exchanges and discussions aimed at building the relationship between  CMF and the Indonesian Navy.

CTF 151’s Commander, Rear Admiral Giam Hock Koon, Republic of Singapore Navy, also took the opportunity to visit KRI Diponegoro whilst she was alongside in Salalah.

During his visit, Rear Admiral Giam noted that many of the world’s established navies, including the Indonesian Navy, continue to maintain a keen interest in keeping vital Sea Lines of Communications such as the Gulf of Aden safe from piracy

He said: “The Indonesian Navy has vast experience in protecting the waters of its extensive archipelago, and has achieved much success in maritime security partnerships with Singapore and other navies.”

These partnerships include initiatives such as the Indonesia-Singapore Coordinated Patrol and the Malacca Straits Patrol.

KRI Diponegoro from HMS Northumberland
KRI Diponegoro from HMS Northumberland

Commander Paddy Dowsett, Royal Navy, Commanding Officer of HMS Northumberland, was pleased with the way the exercise was conducted.  He said, “The exercise with KRI Diponegoro was very beneficial for all involved. She is a well-handled warship and is a credit to the Indonesian Navy.”

Lieutenant Colonel Hersan, Indonesian Navy, echoed these sentiments and expressed delight at the opportunity to exercise with CTF 151 for the first time.

He said, “It is indeed our honour and pride to be able to have this opportunity to work with an experienced warship such as HMS Northumberland.”