Posted on September 14, 2018
With helicopters flying low overhead, landing craft from HMS Albion put commandos and Viking armoured vehicles on to the beach. The ‘enemy’ position was rapidly secured in a demonstration of the close co-operation between the armed forces of Brunei and the United Kingdom. The joint exercise – Setia Kawan (Malay for ‘Loyal Friend’) – took place in front of His Majesty Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum – the Sultan of Brunei – and the UK’s second most senior naval officer, Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Ben Key. As well as comprehensive briefings aboard the Plymouth-based warship from senior officers, the sultan also met the exercise’s participants. “What a fantastic experience – I got to shake hands with His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei. It has been a hoofing [awesome] deployment,” said Marine Sean Phipps, aged 26, from Aberdeen who is serving aboard Albion with 40 Commando.