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“Brunei and the U.S. have a shared interest in regional security and stability,” said Cmdr. Patrick Reilly, VP-16 executive officer. “The purpose of this detachment was to promote maritime security while confirming the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The War Eagles were joined by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah the Crown Prince, and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. Also attending the flight with the Crown Prince was Brigadier General Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Alirupendi bin Haji Perudin, Acting Deputy Commander Colonel Hishamuddin bin Abidin, and U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Caryn R. McClelland.
During the flight, the DVs observed the capabilities of the P-8A aircraft and patrolled Brunei’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea. VP-16 conducted additional flights with members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
“We were delighted to host the visit of VP-16,” said Ambassador McClelland. “The U.S. demonstrated its commitment to partnering with Brunei to enhance maritime domain awareness and security cooperation in defense of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
In addition to the flights, the War Eagles participated in sporting events with RBAirF personnel from 15 Squadron, No. 1 Wing and 55 Squadron, No. 5. Wing. The two nations also organized games of “Capture the Flag” and VP-16 was introduced to the traditional Malay game “Kaki Tiga”.
The VP-16 “War Eagles” are based in Jacksonville, Florida, and are currently forward deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan. The squadron conducts maritime patrol and reconnaissance as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.