Jakarta, 22 Sep: Troops hailing from the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc on Tuesday commenced their inaugural joint naval drills off Indonesia, reports Anadolu Agency. Earlier, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) engaged in military exercises with the US, China, Russia, and other nations.
According to Indonesian Kompas TV, Indonesian Commander Admiral Yudo Margono officially opened the Asex-1 Natuna activities. The exercises are scheduled to continue until Saturday.
Indonesia is the current chair of the regional bloc.
During this period, five naval vessels from Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore are expected to navigate from Batam Island to a location near the Natuna Islands in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
“This time, specifically for ASEAN countries, we are carrying out joint exercises which will be attended by ships from friendly countries,” said Margono.