Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) arrived in Brunei Jan. 14 following a one-day exercise at sea with the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN). The visit highlighted the strong partnership and military relationship between Brunei and the United States. In consideration of COVID-19 safety mitigations, the visit was contactless, meaning the crew of the ship remained aboard the ship, where they were afforded rest and replenishment of supplies. Jackson and RBN Darussalam-class offshore patrol vessel KDB Daruttaqwa (DTQ 09) conducted bilateral exercises while sailing together in the South China Sea Jan. 13. Jackson and Daruttaqwa met at sea to practice and enhance bilateral interoperability between the two navies and to emphasize the importance of operating together.
“The opportunity to sail alongside KDB Daruttaqwa demonstrates our shared commitment and goals with the Royal Brunei Navy to improve our interoperability and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” said Cmdr. Michael Root, commanding officer, USS Jackson.
“The United States and Brunei have a long relationship that includes a notable visit by USS Constitution to Brunei Bay on April 6, 1845,” said Capt. Tom Ogden, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “Jackson’s visit and training with the RBN is a continuation of the 177 years of strong friendship and deep historical ties between Brunei and the U.S.”
The events included bilateral communications exercises and division tactics to practice precision maneuvering. All the events were designed to enhance cooperation between the two navies and to enable the ships to practice communications and coordination while operating in close proximity to one another. The exercise and port visit further the friendship between Brunei and the U.S. The U.S. routinely participates in 300 bilateral engagements a year, from expert exchanges to ship visits, to component exercises and major training exercises such as Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei. These exercises signify joint commitment to peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
The RBN stated it remains committed to strengthening bilateral relations with the U.S. Navy, enhancing interoperability and capacity-building opportunities towards the goal of cooperation at sea. The RBN wished Jackson fair winds and following seas to their next port of call. As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed destroyer squadron in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Expeditionary Strike Group 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements. Under Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.