PADANG, Indonesia - The multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo 2016 kicked off in Padang, Indonesia, April 12, with an opening ceremony and arrival of navy ships from 35 nations in the city's harbor for an international fleet review.
The multilateral focused Komodo exercise emphasizes readiness and cooperation among navies and will take place in the city of Padang and in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
Komodo 2016 is the second iteration of the exercise, which began in 2014 in Batam, Indonesia.
"Komodo 2016 provides an outstanding venue to enhance multilateral cooperation while strengthening our friendship with the people of Indonesia," said Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander, Task Force 73. "We're honored to participate in the outreach activities planned ashore and the sea phase where we'll operate alongside navies from 35 countries."
Komodo 2016 features a robust harbor phase that includes an international fleet review and a sea phase training scenario where participating navies will work together to enhance information sharing and maritime cooperation.
During the harbor phase, U.S. Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 will work alongside fellow naval engineers on a civil-military project, while Sailors from the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale and Patrol Squadron 8 will participate in community service projects at Padang Beach and a cultural exchange with students at Andalas University.
The sea phase will feature divisional tactics, small boat operations, flight operations with helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft, and communication drills.
Approximately 48 ships and aircraft from 35 navies will participate in the sea phase, including 18 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus member states.
U.S. assets and personnel participating in Komodo 2016 include staff from Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7, Sailors from USS Stockdale, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and flight crew from VP-8, and Seabees from NMCB 4.
"We are very excited to go to sea and execute a challenging sea phase in support of Komodo 2016," said Cmdr. Sean Grunwell, commanding officer, USS Stockdale. "This exercise allows our Sailors to showcase their skills as professional mariners as we operate together at sea with ships from navies throughout the region."
The multilateral exercise also coincides with the 15th Western Pacific Naval Symposium, a biennial dialogue that brings together naval leaders from across the globe for discussions and engagement on key maritime issues. This year's WPNS was attended by Adm. Scott Swift, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.